Tag Archives: Scholarly Books on Hinduism

academic resources for teaching and learning about hinduism

Understanding Our Religious World (Series)

HINDUISM: Understanding Our Religious World

There is an assortment of reasonably-priced, richly illustrated, engaging digital texts for the academic study of the major religious traditions on this site. These include: Hinduism, Buddhism, East Asian Religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The site contains many free resources (for students and instructors), as well as PowerPoint slides and useful materials for instructors. These are best suited for teaching more than one religion in a given semester. In a World Religions course, one might assign the Western and Eastern Religions texts, or utilize various combinations of individual books to best suit the course needs. These books have a robust appeal for their pedagogic effectiveness.

https://www.robinest.org/ebooks2.html

Hinduism – the eBook

This is a very reasonably priced digital version of the widely-used Introducing Hinduism, 2e (Routledge), described below. It contains weblinks, color images, pronunciation guides, research resources. It is especially effective for courses that are taught and received through remote, digital instruction, but has been widely used in live classroom settings as well. The reviews for Introducing Hinduism listed below also pertain to this volume. The many other books listed on this site include: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Tibetan Buddhism, Japanese Religion, Daoism, Islam, Christianity, and World Religions. These books are best suited for semester-long courses dedicated to a single religious tradition.

http://www.worldreligionsebooks.com/ecomm/store.php?crn=220&rn=429&action=show_detail

http://www.worldreligionsebooks.com/ecomm/store.php

Introducing Hinduism, 2e

It is an ideal sourcebook for those seeking a comprehensive overview of the Hindu tradition. This second edition includes substantial treatments of Tantra, South India, and women, as well as expanded discussions of yoga, Vedanta and contemporary configurations of Hinduism in the West. Its lively presentation features: case studies, photographs, and scenarios that invite the reader into the lived world of Hinduism; introductory summaries, key points, discussion questions, and recommended reading lists at the end of each chapter; narrative summaries of the great epics and other renowned Hindu myths and lucid explanations of complex Indian philosophical teachings, including Sankhya and Kashmir Saivism; and a glossary, timeline, and pronunciation guide for an enhanced learning experience. This volume is an invaluable resource for students in need of an introduction to the key tenets and diverse practice of Hinduism, past and present.

The digital version listed above is also effective and easy to access for instructors and students.

Reviews

“In this new edition Rodrigues extends his comprehensive approach to Hinduism’s long history and complex network of sacred stories, ritual practices, and philosophical thought that he constructed in the first edition. This new edition weaves case studies of communities, leaders, and perspectives that take the reader closer into the lived realities of Hindu life. For students and readers who want to know where to begin in their understanding of Hinduism, this is the book.” Paul B. Courtright, Emory University, USA

“This edition will provide a comprehensive and useful introduction, starting point, and reference to the Hindu tradition… . It is extremely well suited for the classroom.” Sushil Mittal, Professor of Hindu Studies, James Madison University, USA

“Introducing Hinduism is, quite simply, the best book of its kind. An instructor can, by being selective, use it quite effectively as an introductory text, but it has enough depth that it can be a springboard for more advanced examination of primary texts or anthropological case studies. It is comprehensive, thorough and engaging enough for the general reader to get an excellent grounding in the dauntingly complex web of Hindu traditions.” David McMahan, Franklin and Marshall College, USA

https://www.routledge.com/Introducing-Hinduism/Rodrigues/p/book/9780415549660

An Introduction to Hinduism

This book provides a much-needed thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism, the religion of the majority of people in India. Dr. Flood traces the development of Hindu traditions from ancient origins and the major deities to the modern world. Hinduism as both a global religion and a form of nationalism are discussed. Emphasis is given to the tantric traditions, which have been so influential; to Hindu ritual, more fundamental than belief or doctrine; and to Dravidian influences. It introduces some debates within contemporary scholarship.

Academically solid and once widely used, this book is in need of a new edition.

https://www.cambridge.org/ca/academic/subjects/religion/buddhism-and-eastern-religions/introduction-hinduism?format=PB&isbn=9780521438780

Studying Hinduism in Practice

Drawing on personal experiences of Hinduism on the ground, this book provides a reflective context within which religious practices can be understood and appreciated. It conveys the rich realities of the Hindu tradition and the academic approaches through which they are studied. The chapters cover a wide range of topics, including dance, music, performance, festival traditions, temples, myth, philosophy, women’s practices, and divine possession. The engaging narratives are accompanied by contextual discussions and advice on such topics as conducting fieldwork, colonialism, Hindu seasonal celebrations, understanding deities, and aesthetics in Hinduism. All the entries are accompanied by photographs and suggestions for further reading.

This is an excellent complement to any of the aforementioned textbooks on Hinduism, and best utilized in a semester-long course.

https://www.routledge.com/Studying-Hinduism-in-Practice/Rodrigues/p/book/9780415468480

The Life of Hinduism

The Life of Hinduism brings together a series of essays—many recognized as classics in the field—that present Hinduism as a vibrant, truly “lived” religion. Celebrating the diversity for which Hinduism is known, this volume begins its journey in the “new India” of Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, where global connections and local traditions rub shoulders daily. Readers are then offered a glimpse into the multifaceted world of Hindu worship, life-cycle rites, festivals, performances, gurus, and castes. The book’s final sections deal with the Hinduism that is emerging in diasporic North America and with issues of identity that face Hindus in India and around the world: militancy versus tolerance and the struggle between owning one’s own religion and sharing it with others.

This is an excellent complement to any of the aforementioned textbooks on Hinduism, and best utilized in a semester-long course.

https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520249141/the-life-of-hinduism

The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India

Popular Hinduism is shaped, above all, by worship of a multitude of powerful divine beings — a superabundance indicated by the proverbial total of 330 million gods and goddesses. The fluid relationship between these beings and humans is a central theme of this rich and accessible study of popular Hinduism in the context of the society of contemporary India. Lucidly organized and skillfully written, The Camphor Flame brings clarity to an immensely complicated subject. C. J. Fuller combines ethnographic case studies with comparative anthropological analysis and draws on textual and historical scholarship as well. The book’s new afterword brings the study up-to-date by examining the relationship between popular Hinduism and contemporary Hindu nationalism.

Especially effective for anthropologically oriented approaches to the teaching of Hinduism.

https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691120485/the-camphor-flame

Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction

Hinduism is practised by nearly eighty per cent of India’s population, and by some seventy million people outside India. In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott offers a succinct and authoritative overview of this major religion, and analyses the challenges facing it in the twenty-first century. She discusses key preoccupations of Hinduism such as the centrality of the Veda as religious texts, the role of Brahmins, gurus, and storytellers in the transmission of divine truths, and the cultural and moral importance of epics such as the Ramayana.

As part of the Very Short Introductions series, these is a slim volume (160 pages), best suited if used in tandem with other materials for semester-long courses.

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/hinduism-a-very-short-introduction-9780198745549?cc=ca&lang=en&#