Hinduism is practised by eighty per cent of India's population, and by thirty million people outside India. In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott combines a succinct and authoritative overview of a major religion with an analysis of the challenges facing it in the twentieth century. She discusses key preoccupations of Hinduism such as the centrality of the Veda as religious texts, the role of brahmins, gurus, and storytellers in the transmission of divine truths, and the importance of epics such as the Ramayana. Issues such as the place of women and dalits (untouchables) in contemporary society are also addressed, making this book stimulating reading for Hindus and non-Hindus alike. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Kim Knott is Head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Leeds and President of the British Association for the Study of Religions. She has written on modern Hinduism, religions in Britain, and gender and religion.
1. The Scholar and the Devotee ; 2. Revelation and the Transmission of Knowledge ; 3. Understanding the Self ; 4. Divine Heroes: The Epic Tradition ; 5. The Divine Presence ; 6. Hinduism, Colonialism, and Modernity ; 7. Challenges to Hinduism: Women and Dalits ; 8. Crossing the Black Waters: Hinduism Beyond India ; 9. Hindui Dharma, Hinduism, and Hinduisms ; The Six Philosophical Systems (Darshana) ; Timeline ; Glossary ; Further Reading ; References ; Index