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  • The Oxford History of Hinduism



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The Oxford History of Hinduism RSS

General Editor: Gavin Flood

The series offers authoritative, comprehensive coverage of the History of Hinduism. Although the word 'Hinduism' its problematic as the term's origin is only from the nineteenth century and 'Hindu' is only attested as a people's self-description from the sixteenth century, it nevertheless denotes a range of traditions within India whose roots reach deep into the past. The volumes in the series provide a history of the religious traditions encompassed by the term 'Hinduism' from the first millennium BCE to the present day. One of the problems about studying the history of Hinduism, especially in the earlier period, concerns dating. It has been notoriously difficult to establish the dates of early traditions, figures, and texts before the medieval period. We can fairly accurately date Sanskrit texts of Buddhism when translated into Chinese, but Hindu texts are more problematic, although there is general agreement about the sequence of major developments within this history.

Another issue is the category 'religion.' Some scholars have argued against using it in the Indian context on the grounds of its local origin in the history of the West, but arguably the term demarcates a set of ideas, practices, and hopes and the English word is no more problematic than 'culture' or even 'society.' But we do need to acknowledge these difficulties and that our claims as scholars are always provisional, subject to correction, and our categories must sometimes be used without consensual definition.

Each volume considers the relationship between Hinduism and the wider society, for religion is always embedded within culture and socio-political structures. Hinduism needs to be understood as dynamically engaging with wider Indian society and with other religions, particularly Buddhism and Jainism, throughout its long history. This dynamism and interactive nature of the religion is reflected in each of the volumes some of which are more focused on Sanskrit traditions while other volumes will have more weight on vernacular literatures such as Tamil. After the Vedic age, the volumes are organised thematically and chronologically. Thus, we have volumes devoted to the three major traditions focused on Shiva, the Goddess, and Vishnu, volumes on philosophy and practice, Hinduism in the modern world, and vernacular traditions. Each volume addresses not only theological concerns, but also material culture, such as temples and architecture, along with the history of practices such as making offerings to a deity (pūjā), observances or vows (vrata), and pilgrimage (yatra) which cut across specific traditions.

Gavin Flood |j General Editor:

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Cover for 9780198790839

The Oxford History of Hinduism

Modern Hinduism


Torkel Brekke

27 August 2019
The Oxford History of Hinduism

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The Oxford History of Hinduism

The Goddess


Mandakranta Bose

21 August 2018
The Oxford History of Hinduism

Cover for 9780198733508

The Oxford History of Hinduism

Hindu Practice


Gavin Flood

20 October 2020
The Oxford History of Hinduism

Cover for 9780198702603

The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Law

A New History of Dharmasastra


Patrick Olivelle and Donald R. Davis

14 February 2018
The Oxford History of Hinduism

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