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This reference dispels widespread stereotypes of Hinduism, clearly and accessibly explaining the complex truths behind these stereotypes, with backing from historical sources as well as contemporary scholarship.
Do Hindus worship cows? Why do Hindu gods have so many arms? What is the caste system, and why do Hindus practice it? How is yoga related to Hinduism? This book not only answers questions like these but digs into how the questions themselves are often based on misunderstandings of a subtle and ancient tradition with much wisdom to offer the modern world. It explores such topics as Hindu worship, Hindu beliefs about the afterlife, Hindu ideals of justice, Hindu political and social thought, Hinduism and gender issues, conflicts between Hindus and Muslims, historical reasons for poverty in India, and the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, who is probably the best known Hindu in the Western world.
Each chapter focuses on a particular fiction related to Hinduism, discussing how the fiction arose and spread through excerpts from primary source documents. Readers will come away with an understanding of significant misconceptions related to Hinduism as well as the truths behind those beliefs.
- Features an introduction that places Hinduism in its historical context
- Overview significant misconceptions related to Hinduism along with the facts behind the fictions
- Offers primary source documents that serve as evidence for how the misconceptions developed and spread, along with what we now believe to be the historical truths
- Provides a bibliography to the most important additional resources
- Series Description
Historical Facts and Fictions
Did Nero really fiddle while Rome burned? Did the Egyptians really worship animals and gods with animal heads? History is full of misconceptions that have been passed down as historical facts and become rooted in the popular imagination. This series explores historical fictions and what we now believe to be historical truths. Each book focuses on a particular topic, such as a period, event, civilization, movement, religion, or person, and explores roughly 10 misconceptions. Chapters summarize the misconception, discuss how it arose and was propagated, and explain what is now taken as historical fact. The series helps readers think critically about the past and prepares them to be equally critical of the present.
- Author Info