An Introduction to HinduismBy Gavin D. Flood
This book provides a much-needed thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism, the religion of the majority of people in India. Dr Flood traces the development of Hindu traditions from their ancient origins, through the major deities of Visnu, Siva and the Goddess, to the modern world. Hinduism is discussed as both a global religion and a form of nationalism. Emphasis is given to the tantric traditions, which have been so influential; to Hindu ritual, which is more fundamental to the life of the religion than are specific beliefs or doctrines; and to Dravidian influences from south India. An Introduction to Hinduism examines the ideas of dharma, particularly in relation to the ideology of kingship, caste and world renunciation. Dr Flood also introduces some debates within contemporary scholarship about the nature of Hinduism. It is suitable both for the student and for the general reader.