Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices

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Psychology Press, 1994 - Religion - 375 pages
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Hinduism is a vastly complex phenomenon, a world religion with a history of over three thousand years. It has produced men and women who have made outstanding contributions across the range of civilised human behaviour, and played a crucial part in the rise of two other great religions - Buddhism and Sikhism. Julius Lipner was born and raised in India and is able to draw on his own experience of Hindu beliefs and practices to explain what it means to be Hindu in a changing world.
Hindus examines the religion as a plural phenomenon - that is, as a family of religions rather than a monolithic entity. The approach is thematic, and the author considers various topicssuch as the status of women - in more than one place and from more than one angle. He also tells and sometimes analyses Hindu stories, stressing the narrative quality of Hindu religion and giving us an insight into the nature of the Hindu phenomenon itself.
Hindus will be valuable on more than one level: as a source of instruction, as a basis for discussion, seminars and further study, even as a challenge for further research. It provides a new perspective on what it means to live as a Hindu and enables readers to appreciate this great and marvellous religious phenomenon, its extraordinary richness, and the way it encompasses the diversity of human experience.
 

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Contents

AboutHindu Hinduism and this book
1
The voice of scripture as Veda
25
The voice of scripture as Veda and Veda
55
Varnasrama dharma
74
Caste and narrative
108
Folklore and the intellectual
146
The voice of experience
165
A story with a tail
197
Morality and the person
223
Modes of reckoning time and progress
251
The sacred and its forms
275
Means ways and ends
295
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