This revision reflects recent developments and events in India. In particular, a new Part has been added entitled "The Meeting of East and West in India" which contains a new chapter on Mahatma Gandhi. There is also a new chapter on the position of women in Hinduism. In addition to the added chapters, the entire book has been rewritten with many new illustrations and maps.
This book provides a comprehensive survey of the Hindu tradition, dealing with the history of Hinduism, the sacred writings of the Hindus, the Hindu worldview, and the specifics of the major branches of Hinduism—Vaisnavism, Saivism, and Saktism. It also focuses on the geographical ties of Hinduism with the land of India, the social order created by Hinduism, and the various systems of Hindu thought. Klostermaier describes the new development of Hinduism in the 19th and 20th centuries, including present-day political Hinduism and the efforts to turn Hinduism into a modern-world religion.
A unique feature of this book is its treatment of Hinduism in a topical fashion, rather than by chronological description of the development of Hinduism or by summary of the literature. The complexities of Hindu life and thought are thus made real to the reader. Hindus will recognize it as their own tradition.
Klaus K. Klostermaier is Professor of Religion at the University of Manitoba.