Hinduism: Past and Present

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9780691089539: Hinduism: Past and Present

Hinduism is currently followed by one-fifth of humankind. Far from a monolithic theistic tradition, the religion comprises thousands of gods, a complex caste system, and hundreds of languages and dialects. Such internal plurality inspires vastly ranging rites and practices amongst Hinduism's hundreds of millions of adherents. It is therefore not surprising that scholars have been hesitant to define universal Hindu beliefs and practices. In this book, Axel Michaels breaks this trend. He examines the traditions, beliefs, and rituals Hindus hold in common through the lens of what he deems its "identificatory habitus," a cohesive force that binds Hindu religions together and fortifies them against foreign influences. Thus, in his analysis, Michaels not only locates Hinduism's profoundly differentiating qualities, but also provides the framework for an analysis of its social and religious coherence.


Michaels blends his insightful arguments and probing questions with introductions to major historical epochs, ample textual sources as well as detailed analyses of major life-cycle rituals, the caste system, forms of spiritualism, devotionalism, ritualism, and heroism. Along the way he points out that Hinduism has endured and repeatedly resisted the missionary zeal and universalist claims of Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. He also contrasts traditional Hinduism with the religions of the West, "where the self is preferred to the not-self, and where freedom in the world is more important than liberation from the world."


Engaging and accessible, this book will appeal to laypersons and scholars alike as the most comprehensive introduction to Hinduism yet published. Not only is Hinduism refreshingly new in its methodological approach, but it also presents a broad range of meticulous scholarship in a clear, readable style, integrating Indology, religious studies, philosophy, anthropological theory and fieldwork, and sweeping analyses of Hindu texts.

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From the Back Cover:

"A powerful, thoughtful, thorough presentation of Hindu traditions. The book's main purpose is to provide an overview of Hinduism and the book does this uniquely well. The work is encyclopedic in scope, but it is also analytical, and Michaels attempts throughout the book to introduce the reader not only to Hindu traditions but to major concepts in the study of religion more generally. I would recommend Michaels's book strongly to colleagues and other adult readers who need to teach something about, or who otherwise want to understand Hindu traditions."--Anne Feldhaus, Arizona State University

"Michaels's book distinguishes itself by combining in exemplary fashion a thorough knowledge of ancient and contemporary Hindu texts with a deep insight into the religion 'at ground level.' It will serve as an excellent introduction to Hinduism for college and graduate students--and may help scholars in religious studies begin to understand Hinduism in an altogether new way."--Michael Witzel, Harvard University

About the Author:

Axel Michaels, the Professor of Classical Indology at the South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg, has published widely in the fields of Indology, anthropology, and religious studies. He has also conducted extensive fieldwork in Nepal and Northern India.

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Michaels, Axel
Editore: Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ (2004)
ISBN 10: 0691089531 ISBN 13: 9780691089539
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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 2004. Soft cover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: None, as Issued. (xvii)+429 pp. Codice libro della libreria MI01601

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Axel Michaels, Barbara Harshav (Translator)
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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0691089531

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Hinduism is currently followed by one-fifth of humankind. Far from a monolithic theistic tradition, the religion comprises thousands of gods, a complex caste system, and hundreds of languages and dialects. Such internal plurality inspires vastly ranging rites and practices amongst Hinduism s hundreds of millions of adherents. It is therefore not surprising that scholars have been hesitant to define universal Hindu beliefs and practices. In this book, Axel Michaels breaks this trend. He examines the traditions, beliefs, and rituals Hindus hold in common through the lens of what he deems its identificatory habitus, a cohesive force that binds Hindu religions together and fortifies them against foreign influences. Thus, in his analysis, Michaels not only locates Hinduism s profoundly differentiating qualities, but also provides the framework for an analysis of its social and religious coherence. Michaels blends his insightful arguments and probing questions with introductions to major historical epochs, ample textual sources as well as detailed analyses of major life-cycle rituals, the caste system, forms of spiritualism, devotionalism, ritualism, and heroism. Along the way he points out that Hinduism has endured and repeatedly resisted the missionary zeal and universalist claims of Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. He also contrasts traditional Hinduism with the religions of the West, where the self is preferred to the not-self, and where freedom in the world is more important than liberation from the world. Engaging and accessible, this book will appeal to laypersons and scholars alike as the most comprehensive introduction to Hinduism yet published. Not only is Hinduism refreshingly new in its methodological approach, but it also presents a broad range of meticulous scholarship in a clear, readable style, integrating Indology, religious studies, philosophy, anthropological theory and fieldwork, and sweeping analyses of Hindu texts. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780691089539

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Hinduism is currently followed by one-fifth of humankind. Far from a monolithic theistic tradition, the religion comprises thousands of gods, a complex caste system, and hundreds of languages and dialects. Such internal plurality inspires vastly ranging rites and practices amongst Hinduism s hundreds of millions of adherents. It is therefore not surprising that scholars have been hesitant to define universal Hindu beliefs and practices. In this book, Axel Michaels breaks this trend. He examines the traditions, beliefs, and rituals Hindus hold in common through the lens of what he deems its identificatory habitus, a cohesive force that binds Hindu religions together and fortifies them against foreign influences. Thus, in his analysis, Michaels not only locates Hinduism s profoundly differentiating qualities, but also provides the framework for an analysis of its social and religious coherence. Michaels blends his insightful arguments and probing questions with introductions to major historical epochs, ample textual sources as well as detailed analyses of major life-cycle rituals, the caste system, forms of spiritualism, devotionalism, ritualism, and heroism.Along the way he points out that Hinduism has endured and repeatedly resisted the missionary zeal and universalist claims of Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. He also contrasts traditional Hinduism with the religions of the West, where the self is preferred to the not-self, and where freedom in the world is more important than liberation from the world. Engaging and accessible, this book will appeal to laypersons and scholars alike as the most comprehensive introduction to Hinduism yet published. Not only is Hinduism refreshingly new in its methodological approach, but it also presents a broad range of meticulous scholarship in a clear, readable style, integrating Indology, religious studies, philosophy, anthropological theory and fieldwork, and sweeping analyses of Hindu texts. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780691089539

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2004. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria WP-9780691089539

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press 2004-01-23, Princeton, N.J. |Oxford, 2004. paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780691089539

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2017. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. This item is printed on demand. Codice libro della libreria P110691089531

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Hinduism: Past and Present, Axel Michaels, Barbara Harshav, Hinduism is currently followed by one-fifth of humankind. Far from a monolithic theistic tradition, the religion comprises thousands of gods, a complex caste system, and hundreds of languages and dialects. Such internal plurality inspires vastly ranging rites and practices amongst Hinduism's hundreds of millions of adherents. It is therefore not surprising that scholars have been hesitant to define universal Hindu beliefs and practices. In this book, Axel Michaels breaks this trend. He examines the traditions, beliefs, and rituals Hindus hold in common through the lens of what he deems its "identificatory habitus," a cohesive force that binds Hindu religions together and fortifies them against foreign influences. Thus, in his analysis, Michaels not only locates Hinduism's profoundly differentiating qualities, but also provides the framework for an analysis of its social and religious coherence. Michaels blends his insightful arguments and probing questions with introductions to major historical epochs, ample textual sources as well as detailed analyses of major life-cycle rituals, the caste system, forms of spiritualism, devotionalism, ritualism, and heroism. Along the way he points out that Hinduism has endured and repeatedly resisted the missionary zeal and universalist claims of Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. He also contrasts traditional Hinduism with the religions of the West, "where the self is preferred to the not-self, and where freedom in the world is more important than liberation from the world." Engaging and accessible, this book will appeal to laypersons and scholars alike as the most comprehensive introduction to Hinduism yet published. Not only is Hinduism refreshingly new in its methodological approach, but it also presents a broad range of meticulous scholarship in a clear, readable style, integrating Indology, religious studies, philosophy, anthropological theory and fieldwork, and sweeping analyses of Hindu texts. Codice libro della libreria B9780691089539

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