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Klaus K. Klostermaier, “A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism”
Oneworld Publications | 1998-11-25 | ISBN: 1851681752 | 288 pages | PDF | 4,4 MB

History has always been a problematic issue in India, where the dating of many a figure is accurate to only within centuries. So to attempt a definitive history of Hinduism would seem foolhardy. Klaus Klostermaier approximated the impossible in his 715-page Survey of Hinduism, and now he has boiled it all down to about half that size. Hinduism is defined as that family of religions that accept the Vedas as authoritative, but despite the single moniker the differences can be vast. From fertility cults to precise rituals that date back thousands of years, Klostermaier cuts across time to illustrate the major strains of Hindu tradition--Vaisnavism, Saivism, and Saktism, along with the nonsectarian smarta. He includes a short history of Hindu philosophy, which in India is inseparable from religion. Klostermaier is a first-rate scholar who expects a lot from his readers, sometimes too much. Anyone who isn't somewhat versed in Hinduism already would do well to pick up his Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism for handy reference. --Brian Bruya

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