Cover image for Hinduism and modernity
Hinduism and modernity
Smith, David (David James), 1944-
Publication Information:
Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2003.
Physical Description:
xi, 250 pages ; 24 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL1202 .S63 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This examination of Hinduism in the context of modernity will be ofinterest to all students of Hinduism, as well as to thoseinterested in the sociology and history of religion.

Shows Hinduism to be a highly dynamic world-view whichchallenges western notions of modernity.
Considers a broad range of topics including women, the castesystem, the self, divinities and gurus.
Contains up-to-date discussions of modern Hindu culture andbeliefs.

Author Notes

David Smith is Reader in Indian Religions at Lancaster University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Part of a series oriented toward undergraduates, this is a well-designed introduction to Hinduism in its modern manifestations. Smith (Lancaster Univ.) presents a critical yet balanced view of Hinduism, focusing on the ways that Hinduism has been shaped by its encounters with "modernity," and also showing how the Western world was itself shaped by its encounters with India. Overall the work is well documented, and it does not avoid contentious issues such as the debate on the Aryan invasion theory and the rise of Hindu fundamentalism. It provides an introduction to the postcolonial critiques of the Western discourse about India, but unfortunately diverges into a lengthy defense of the early Indologists against Ronald Inden's critique, which is hardly appropriate in a book for undergraduates. Though this work does not in itself constitute an adequate introduction to Hinduism, it is an excellent survey of the history of the Western encounters with India and Hinduism, highlighting in the process the inevitable misunderstandings that resulted, some of which still persist in popular portrayals of the religion. As such it is particularly appropriate for its designated readership, ideally in conjunction with additional readings. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; undergraduate and graduate students. D. B. Gray William Marsh Rice University

Table of Contents

Part I Hinduism And Modernity Explained
1 Modernity And Hinduism
2 India And The Juggernaut Of Modernity
3 Hinduism Ancient And Modern
Part II Hinduism For Others
4 Islam And Hinduism
5 The Western Discovery Of Hinduism
6 Hinduism and Orientalism
Part III Hinduism Contrasted With Modernity
7 'Woman Caste' (Aurat Jati) And The Gender Of Modernity
8 Kali East And West
9 The Gods Of Hinduism And The Idols Of Modernity
10 The Image Of The Self
Part IV Hinduism Today
11 Gurus
12 Modernity And Hindu Nationalism
13 Hinduism And The Global Future