Religion In India: A Historical Introduction

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2/27/2007
  • Publisher: Routledge

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In his introduction to the history of lived religion in India, Clothey will emphasize the importance of ritual, local mythology, and historical context for the beginning student's understanding of religious belief and practice. Clothey's attention to the cultural production of religious movements and to the interactions between movements over time reflects his engagement with some of the liveliest conversations in the field of religious studies. There is currently no book on Indian religion that presents new trends in the study of regional religious movements in a way that is accessible to beginning students. This book will fill that gap.

Author Biography

Fred W. Clothey is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
List of illustrations and mapsp. xiii
On Wearing Good Lensesp. 1
Lenses used through the yearsp. 2
Pejorative putdownp. 2
Romanticismp. 4
"Noble savage"p. 6
Interpretation by impositionp. 7
"Benign neglect"p. 9
On understanding the "nature" of religionp. 10
Recommended readingp. 12
Sources of Indian Religionp. 14
Hunting communitiesp. 15
Agricultural communitiesp. 16
The "Indo-European" influencep. 20
The Vedic periodp. 21
The ritual systemp. 23
Hymns and commentariesp. 26
Recommended readingp. 28
The Early Urban Periodp. 30
The Upanisadsp. 31
The "heterodoxies"p. 36
Jainismp. 37
Early Buddhismp. 41
Recommended readingp. 48
Timeline of Chapters 2 and 3p. 50
The Urban Periodp. 51
The contextp. 52
Kingship and arthap. 56
Theism: Buddhist and vaidikap. 56
Devotionalismp. 60
Articulation of an "urban" ethicp. 61
The householdp. 63
The role of womenp. 63
Jati or castep. 66
The symbolism of foodp. 67
Yogap. 68
Summaryp. 69
The epicsp. 69
Aesthetics and the artsp. 72
Religious life at the popular levelp. 76
Developments in Buddhismp. 78
Kingshipp. 79
Ethicsp. 79
Attitude toward city-statep. 79
Pantheonp. 79
Iconographyp. 80
Sacred spacesp. 80
Recommended readingp. 84
Timeline of Chapter 4p. 86
The Post-classical Periodp. 87
South Indiap. 87
Bhaktip. 90
The emergence of templesp. 93
The Colasp. 96
Deities as reflections of cultural historyp. 100
Philosophical developmentsp. 102
Saiva Siddhantap. 102
Vedantap. 103
North Indiap. 107
Temple constructionp. 108
Tantrismp. 109
The rise of the goddesses to "high deity" statusp. 111
Buddhism and Jainismp. 114
Recommended readingp. 116
Timeline of Chapter 5p. 120
The Coming of Islamp. 122
The origins of Islamp. 123
Sunnis and Shi'isp. 124
Islam in Indiap. 125
The political contextp. 127
Diversity of Islam in Indiap. 131
Sunnisp. 131
Shi'isp. 132
Sufismp. 133
Recommended readingp. 136
Developments in the Late Medieval Periodp. 137
Orthopraxyp. 137
Hindu politiesp. 138
Devotionalismp. 141
Marathip. 142
Bengalip. 144
Hindip. 145
Accommodation and appropriationp. 150
Conversionp. 152
Syncretismp. 154
Sikhismp. 156
Recommended readingp. 159
Timeline of Chapters 6 and 7p. 161
Streams from the "West" and their Aftermathp. 162
Religious minoritiesp. 163
Jewish communitiesp. 163
"Cochin Jews"p. 163
Bene Israelp. 165
Syrian Christiansp. 166
Zoroastrians or Parsisp. 168
The "colonial impact"p. 171
The Portuguese, British and other Europeansp. 171
The Indian responsep. 175
Stage onep. 176
Stage twop. 178
Neo-bhaktip. 179
Muslim responses to colonialityp. 181
Inter-religious relations: conciliation and confrontationp. 183
Pre-independence Indiap. 186
Recommended readingp. 189
Religion in Contemporary Indiap. 193
The contextp. 193
The practice of religionp. 197
Pilgrimages and festivalsp. 197
Varanasip. 198
Palani, Tamil Nadup. 200
Festivalsp. 201
Makara Vilakku, Sabaramala, Keralap. 201
Bonalu, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradeshp. 202
Festivals in other religious communitiesp. 205
The shrine or temple as the focus of religious expressionp. 206
Ritual in other religious communitiesp. 209
Religious innovation, hybridization, and reinterpretationp. 210
The changing faces of deitiesp. 210
Conversions of another kindp. 212
Gurus and their movementsp. 214
The Brahmakumarisp. 214
The Satya Sai Baba movementp. 216
The resurgent rightp. 217
Recommended readingp. 221
India's Global Reachp. 224
Greater India in Asiap. 224
The westward impetusp. 228
Early contactsp. 228
The colonial periodp. 230
The modern erap. 232
The emigration of South Asiansp. 236
Recommended readingp. 245
Glossaryp. 248
Notesp. 260
Indexp. 275
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