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By Jessica Frazier

The Continuum significant other to Hindu Studies offers the definitive advisor to Hinduism and learn during this quarter. The publication covers all of the so much urgent and significant issues and different types within the box - components that experience persevered to draw curiosity traditionally in addition to themes that experience emerged extra lately as energetic components of research. Specially commissioned essays from a world group of specialists demonstrate the place vital paintings is still performed within the box and, valuably, how many of the issues intersect via targeted interpreting paths. that includes a chain of indispensible examine instruments, together with an in depth record of assets, chronology and diagrams summarizing content material, this can be the fundamental reference instrument for someone operating in Hindu Studies.>

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Additional info for The Continuum Companion to Hindu Studies (Continuum Companions)

Sample text

In 1909 a member of the Ārya Samāj created the ‘Hindu Maha Sabha’, one of the first movements to define its Hindu identity (‘Hindutva’) in terms of opposition to Muslim and British power, and in 1925 a member of this movement created the Rastriya Svayam Sevak Sangh (RSS), an organization that is dedicated to actively promoting Hindu interests, and trains recruits in a military fashion for that purpose. In 1951, with India established as a self-governing democratic nation, the next step was for such groups to form a political party, and the Jana Sangh, which was later replaced by the Bharatiya Jana Party (BJP), was created.

This fourfold division has been retained as a reference point for classification of the complex levels that make up actual Hindu societies. Individuals were also classed according to the four-fold system of āśramas, age-based divisions of the lives of higher-caste males. These comprised an educational stage in which one lives as a pupil (brahmācārya), a domestic stage as a spouse and parent (gŬhastha), a reflective stage as a hermit (vānaprastha) who begins to practise gentle forms of austerities while living apart from society and an ascetic stage as a full renouncer (saŔnyāsa).

The challenges of the field are forcing scholars to better understand the diversity and dynamism, structures and tensions, the contrapuntal coherence of ideal and actual religious life that is present in all traditions. Hinduism merits study for its cultural contribution and the sheer number of people to whom it pertains. But in light of the above, it also has a very special value for scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Notes 1. The Lokāyata or ‘materialist’ school of thought was an exception, in that it was said to have held that life ends with the death of the present body.

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