In this magisterial volume of essays, Wendy Doniger enhances our understanding of the ancient and complex religion to which she has devoted herself for half a century. This series of interconnected essays and lectures surveys the most critically important and hotly contested issues in Hinduism over 3,500 years, from the ancient time of the Vedas to the present day.
The essays contemplate the nature of Hinduism; Hindu concepts of divinity; attitudes concerning gender, control, and desire; the question of reality and illusion; and the impermanent and the eternal in the two great Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Among the questions Doniger considers are: Are Hindus monotheists or polytheists? How can atheists be Hindu, and how can unrepentant Hindu sinners find salvation? Why have Hindus devoted so much attention to the psychology of addiction? What does the significance of dogs and cows tell us about Hinduism? How have Hindu concepts of death, rebirth, and karma changed over the course of history? How and why does a pluralistic faith, remarkable for its intellectual tolerance, foster religious intolerance?
Doniger concludes with four concise autobiographical essays in which she reflects on her lifetime of scholarship, Hindu criticism of her work, and the influence of Hinduism on her own philosophy of life. On Hinduism is the culmination of over forty years of scholarship from a renowned expert on one of the world's great faiths.
Doniger (The Hindus: An Alternative History) covers vast ground in this compendium of a lifetime of scholarship on diverse aspects of this world religion. She examines: the question of whether Hinduism is monotheistic or polytheistic; transgendered gods; reasons for intolerance in a faith often portrayed as supporting all religions; the Dalit (untouchable) class; the status of women; and the seismic impact of Edward Said's Orientalism Doniger believes we can now move beyond damage the West has done to Asian studies to appreciate Western scholars' contributions. A fascinating chapter one of many describes the complicated interplay between Hinduism and Western gymnastics movements in the late 19th century that led to the development of modern yoga less an ancient Hindu practice than a hybridizing of East and West. Religion does not develop in a vacuum, Doniger insists. Hinduism, a faith identified with a particular place and people, has responded to incursions Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, political-imperial to become a complex, often self-contradictory, but still discernible whole. For anyone seeking a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Hinduism, this book is a must read.
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Worst book ever
The author should consider stop writing and give an apology for defaming and given biased views on an entree religion and community .......WORST book ever