Hinduism as a Missionary Religion

SUNY Press
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Reconsiders whether Hinduism can be considered a
missionary religion.


Is Hinduism a missionary religion? Merely
posing this question is a novel and provocative act. Popular and scholarly
perception, both ancient and modern, puts Hinduism in the nonmissionary
category. In this intriguing book, Arvind Sharma reopens the question. Examining
the historical evidence from the major Hindu eras, the Vedic, classical,
medieval, and modern periods, Sharma’s investigation challenges the categories
used in current scholarly discourse and finds them inadequate, emphasizing the
need to distinguish between a missionary religion and a proselytizing one. A
distinction rarely made, it is nevertheless an illuminating and fruitful one
that resonates with insights from the comparative study of religion. Ultimately
concluding that Hinduism is a missionary religion, but not a proselytizing one,
Sharma’s work provides us with insights both about Hinduism and about religion
in general.

“Sharma is a prolific author who has made significant
contributions to Hindu studies … Readers will gain insight from Sharma’s careful
inquiry.” — CHOICE
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About the author

Arvind Sharma is Birks Professor of Comparative Religion at McGill University. He is the author or editor of many books, including One Religion Too Many: The Religiously Comparative Reflections of a Comparatively Religious Hindu and Religious Studies and Comparative Methodology: The Case for Reciprocal Illumination, both also published by SUNY Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Apr 1, 2011
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Pages
203
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ISBN
9781438432137
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
RELIGION / Hinduism / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is a book by women about women in the religions of the world. It presents all the basic facts and ideological issues concerning the position of women in the major religious traditions of humanity: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, and tribal religions.

A special feature of the book is its phenomenological approach, wherein scholars examine sacred textual materials. Each contributor not only studies her religion from within, but also studies it from her own feminine perspective. Each is an adept historian of religions, who grounds her analysis in publicly verifiable facts. The book strikes a delicate balance between hard fact and delicate perception, the best tradition of phenomenology and the history of religions. It also demonstrates how much religions may vary over time.

Contributors are Katherine K. Young, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at McGill University; Nancy Schuster Barnes, whose Ph.D. is in Sanskrit and Indian Studies; M. Theresa Kelleher, Assistant Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Manhattanville College; Barbara Reed, Assistant Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College; Denise L. Carmody, Professor and Chair, Department of Religion, The University of Tulsa. Also Jane I. Smith, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Harvard Divinity School; Rosemary Radford Ruether, Georgia Harkness Professor of Applied Theology at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; Rita M. Gross, Associate Professor of Comparative Religions at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Clair.
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