Most overviews of Hindu belief and practice follow a history from the ancient Vedas to today. Such approaches privilege Brahmanical traditions and create a sense of Hinduism as a homogenous system and culture, and one which is largely unchanging and based solely on sacred texts. In reality, modern Hindu faith and culture present an extraordinary range of dynamic beliefs and practices. "Contemporary Hinduism" aims to capture the full breadth of the Hindu worldview as practised today, both in the sub-continent and the diaspora. Global and regional faith, ritualised and everyday practice, Brahmanical and non-Brahmanical belief, and ascetic and devotional traditions are all discussed. Throughout, the discussion is illustrated with detailed case material and images, whilst key terms are highlighted and explained in a glossary. "Contemporary Hinduism" presents students with a lively and engaging survey of Hinduism, offering an introduction to the oldest and one of the most complex of world religions.
Table of Contents
Introduction, P. Pratap Kumar PART I: HINDUISM IN THE DIASPORA Part Introduction 1. Diasporic and Indigenous Hinduism in North America, Jeffery D. Long 2. Nepali Hindus in Southern California, Deepak Shimkhada 3. Trinidad Hinduism, Paul Younger 4. Hinduism in the Caribbean, Indrani Rampersad 5. A Tamil Shaivaism in Norway, Knut A. Jacobsen PART II: HINDUISM IN NORTH INDIA Part Introduction 6. The Indrajatra festival of Kathmandu, Nepal, Michael Baltutis 7. Vernacular Hinduism in Rajasthan, Antoinette E. DeNapoli 8. Sindhi Hindus, Steven Ramey 9. Devotional Expressions in the Swaminarayan Community, Hanna Kim 10. Krishna Devotion in Western India, Shandip Saha 11. Varkaris in Rural Western India, Jon Keune 12. Low Caste Hinduism in Central India, Ramdas Lamb 13. Vaishnavism in Bengal, Abhishek Ghosh PART III: HINDUISM IN SOUTH INDIA Part Introduction 14. Snake Goddess Traditions in Tamilnadu, Amy L. Allocco 15. Nambutiris and Ayyappan Devotees in Kerala, George Pati 16. Adorning and Enjoying the Body of the Goddess, Archana Venkatesan 17. The Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati, Afsar Mohammad 18. The Militant Ascetic Traditions of India and Sri Lanka, William Harman 19. Afterword, P. Pratap Kumar, Glossary, Bibliography, Index
P. Pratap Kumar is Emeritus Professor of Hinduism and Comparative Religions at the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.