Religions of the World - Questions, Challenges, and New Directions - Leslie Dorrough Smith

Religions of the World - Questions, Challenges, and New Directions - Leslie Dorrough Smith

Hinduism

Religions of the World - Questions, Challenges, and New Directions - Leslie Dorrough Smith

Leslie Dorrough Smith [+-]
Avila University
Leslie Dorrough Smith is Professor of Religious Studies at Avila University and a member of the Women’s and Gender Studies faculty.
Steven W Ramey [+-]
University of Alabama
Steven W. Ramey is a Professor in Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, where he also directs the Asian Studies Program.

Description

This chapter explores and then interrogates four popular perspectives on Hinduism that both insiders and scholars have used to describe Hinduism as a religion. The first perspective portrays Hinduism primarily as devotion to multiple gods, introducing a few of these deities and some of the common ritualized practices related to them. The second takes a more textual approach by emphasizing the role of the Vedas as the sacred texts of Hinduism, both in ritual settings and in defining the boundaries of Hinduism. This view considers colonial definitions of religion as well as colonial preferences for the views of particular Hindus. The third perspective regards Hinduism as a special kind of knowledge about humans and their relation to the cosmos, commonly labeled the philosophy of Vedanta. The fourth considers Hinduism as a type of cultural influence that extends well beyond what has traditionally been defined as religion.

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Citation

Dorrough Smith, Leslie; Ramey, Steven. Hinduism. Religions of the World - Questions, Challenges, and New Directions. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 185-223 Feb 2024. ISBN 9781800503762. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=44598. Date accessed: 17 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.44598. Feb 2024

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