By Sushil Mittal, Gene Thursby
South Asia is domestic to a number of the world's such a lot vivid non secular faiths. it's also the most dynamic and traditionally wealthy areas on the earth, the place altering political and social buildings have prompted religions to engage and hybridise in certain methods. This textbook introduces the modern religions of South Asia, from the indigenous religions corresponding to the Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh traditions, to incoming affects comparable to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In ten chapters, it surveys the 9 top trust structures of South Asia and explains their heritage, practices, values and worldviews. a last bankruptcy is helping scholars relate what they've got learnt to non secular concept, paving the way in which for destiny learn. fullyyt written via major specialists, Religions of South Asia combines strong scholarship with transparent and full of life writing to supply scholars with an obtainable and accomplished creation. All chapters are especially designed to help cross-religious comparability, following a regular structure masking set issues and matters; the booklet finds to scholars the middle rules of every religion, compares it to neighbouring traditions, and its specific position in South Asian heritage and society. it's a ideal source for all scholars of South Asia's various and engaging faiths.
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Extra info for Religions of South Asia: An Introduction
Interwoven with gold threads, a homespun cotton dhotı¯, a designer suit and tie; an oval jet-black stone besmeared with crimson powder, a shining gold anthropomorphic image resplendent with precious jewels, a ten-headed goddess waving a bloody sword and riding a tiger; a village woman carrying an earthen pot brimming with water atop her head, a well-to-do New Delhi housewife drawing water into a pink porcelain bathtub, a tribal elder bathing in a river; a young man wearing a cord looped over his left shoulder and draped down his right side, another with divine names permanently inked into his skin, a naked mendicant covered only by ashes and his long matted hair; high castes, low castes, outcastes; beggars, kings, and renunciants; 325 languages expressed in more than 2,000 dialects and 25 scripts.
The idea provides a particularly eﬀective rationale for both the apparent inequalities of life and its seemingly random anomalies. While the concepts of karma and sam . a, they are regarded as negative or at least insuﬃcient. a) that is a totally suﬃcient resolution of all the suﬀering of temporal life. a). According to a Hindu worldview, the universe, society, and all things within it are temporal, and one day or another will pass away. Thus to seek eternality in the ﬁnite is doomed to failure from the start.
More recently, Heinrich von Stietencron contributed to this line of commentary on what makes Hinduism a diﬀerent and diﬃcult category to grasp: What we call ‘Hinduism’ is a geographically deﬁned group of distinct but related religions, that originated in the same region, developed under similar socioeconomic and political conditions, incorporated largely the same traditions, inﬂuenced each other continuously, and jointly contributed to the Hindu culture. Therefore it is only by distinguishing the various Hindu religions from ‘Hinduism’ that comparability with other historical religions can be ensured.
Religions of South Asia: An Introduction by Sushil Mittal, Gene Thursby