The Encyclopedia of Hinduism contains over 900 entries
reflecting recent advances in scholarship which have raised new
theoretical and methodological issues as well as identifying new
areas of study which have not been addressed previously. The debate
over the term 'Hinduism' in the light of post-Orientalist critiques
is just one example of how once standard academic frameworks have
been called into question. Entries range from 150-word definitions
of terms and concepts to 5,000-word in-depth investigations of
The Encyclopedia covers all aspects of Hinduism but departs from
other works in including more ethnographic and contemporary
material in contrast to an exclusively textual and historical
approach. It includes a broad range of subject matter such as:
historical developments (among them nineteenth and twentieth
century reform and revival); geographical distribution (especially
the diaspora); major and minor movements; philosophies and
theologies; scriptures; deities; temples and sacred sites;
pilgrimages; festivals; rites of passage; worship; religious arts
(sculpture, architecture, music, dance, etc.); religious sciences
(e.g. astrology); biographies of leading figures; local and
regional traditions; caste and untouchability; feminism and women's
religion; nationalism and the Hindu radical right; and new
religious movements. The history of study and the role of important
scholars past and present are also discussed.
Accessibility to all levels of reader has been a priority and no
previous knowledge is assumed. However, the in-depth larger entries
and the design of the work in line with the latest scholarly
advances means that the volume will be of considerable interest to
The whole is cross-referenced and bibliographies attach to the
larger entries. There is a full index.
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