Survey of Hinduism, A

First Edition

By Klaus K. Klostermaier

Paperback : 9780887068096, 649 pages, February 1989

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This book provides a comprehensive survey of the Hindu tradition, dealing with the history of Hindusim, the sacred writings of the Hindus, the Hindu worldview, and the specifics of the major branches of Hindusim—Vaisnavism, Saivism, and Saktism. 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 philosophio-theological 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.

A glossary and a chronological table are useful additional features.

Klaus K. Klostermaier is Professor and Head of the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba.


"This is solid, balanced, lucid coverage of the Hindu tradition, written from long experience with, and obvious affection toward, India's past and present religious life and thought. The book is straightforward, unpretentious, accessible. It is detailed and thorough in its chapter-by-chapter journey through the essential themes, yet manages to avoid straying into didactic language or extraneous discussions. " — David M. Knipe, University of Wisconsin

"College professors will be glad to have this book as a good source of ideas for teaching topics in Hinduism and Asian religion in general. ..So will students, both undergraduate and graduate. " — Janet Gyatso, State University of New York at Stony Brook.