"Encyclopedia of Hinduism" explores a religion that emerged from prehistory and lives today in astonishing variety. Offering approximately 700 A-to-Z entries, this accessible encyclopedia focuses on the most significant groups within this religion, noteworthy teachers and their contributions, the religions and cultural movements that enriched its history, and the diaspora of Hindu thought and practice around the world. Two major religious traditions that sprang from Hindu influence, Jainism and Sikhism, also have many related entries. Entries include: Ancestor worship, Ayodhya, Ayurveda, Benares, Bhagavad Gita, Brahman, Caste, Christian-Hindu relations, Divali, Durga, Ellora, Funeral rites, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Hindu nationalism, Indus Valley Civilization, Kama Sutra, Meditation, Mirabai, R.K. Narayan, New moon/full moon ceremonies, Om, Puja, Reincarnation/rebirth, Sacred thread, Sadhu, Sikhism, Rabindranath Tagore, Theosophical Society, Untouchability, Vegetarianism, Vishnu, World Parliament of Religions, and more.
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Constance A. Jones is currently a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology, has published numerous articles on religious studies, and was a Fulbright scholar in India. She is also the author of The Legacy of G.I. Gurdjieff, as well as editor of Scholarly Perspectives on the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness. James D. Ryan is the codirector of Asian and Comparative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He earned a Ph.D. in Tamil literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and has translated and annotated the medieval epic Civakacintamani by Tiruttakkatevar.From Booklist:
The Encyclopedia of World Religions series (J. Gordon Melton, series editor) turns its attention to Hinduism. The series, which will eventually include 6 of the world's major religions, complements more general resources, such as The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion (1995), with a highly focused, contemporary approach. Packed into this trim volume are more than 600 A–Z entries with enough information for most users, without overwhelming anyone. For those wanting more, suggestions for further reading accompany almost every entry. The tone and diction of the writing are nontechnical and well-suited for the target audience of high school and up. As with most specialized works, some of the encyclopedia's major topics (for example, the Kama Sutra and Mahatma Gandhi) are also found in more general works. However, examples abound of lesser-known Hindu personalities and concepts that are not adequately covered elsewhere. For instance, approximately one-fourth of the volume's entries are biographical, covering more than 150 yogis, gurus, teachers, and saints. Many of these are late-twentieth-century figures who are not household names outside of the Hindu community. A significant portion of the volume's more than 70 black-and-white photographs accompany these biographical profiles. More than a dozen geographical treatments are highlighted through some of the work's longer entries. Most notable are the entries for Africa, Bali, Scandinavia, Trinidad, and the U.S. The encyclopedia functions, in part, as a glossary as well, defining many Hindu terms. Lesser-known concepts (e.g., Punya, or karmic merit) are explained in entries that are several sentences in length and include brief bibliographies. Intermixed with the people, places, and technical terms are entries for festivals, deities, organizations, key sites, locations, and more. Jainism and Sikhism, two religious traditions with roots in Hinduism, also receive attention with frequent references. The encyclopedia opens with a full but concise introduction to Hinduism, followed by an 11-page Hindu chronology that covers the most notable events in the 3,000 years of Hindu history. A thorough index provides the perfect finishing touch to this user-friendly encyclopedia, which is an ideal fit for large or small public and academic libraries. Osburn, Wade
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