In its first generation ISKCON actively deterred marriage and the nuclear family, denigrated women, and viewed the raising of children as a distraction from devotees' spiritual responsibilities. Yet since the death of its founder in 1977, there has been a growing women’s rights movement and also a highly publicized child abuse scandal. Most strikingly, this movement has transformed into one that now embraces the nuclear family and is more accepting of both women and children, steps taken out of necessity to sustain itself as a religious movement into the next generation. At the same time, it is now struggling to contend with the consequences of its recent outreach into the India-born American Hindu community.
Based on three decades of in-depth research and participant observation, Hare Krishna Transformed explores dramatic changes in this new religious movement over the course of two generations from its founding.
This third edition of the classic text updates the information contained in the earlier editions, and includes new chapters on the origins of Hinduism; its history of relations with Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam; Hindu science; and Hindu measures of time. The chronology and the bibliography have been updated as well.
A comprehensive survey of the Hindu tradition, the book deals with the history of Hinduism, the sacred writings of the Hindus, the Hindu worldview, and the specifics of the major branches of HinduismVaisnavism, Saivism, and Saktism. 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 thought. Klaus K. Klostermaier describes the development of Hinduism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including present-day political Hinduism and the efforts to turn Hinduism into a modern world religion. A unique feature of the 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, and Hindus will recognize it as their own tradition.
Klostermaier has now made a great book even better. CHOICE
Praise for the Second Edition
The first edition of this book appeared in 1989 and rapidly proved its worth as a textbook on Hinduism that was more inclusive and accessible than mostespecially for Western readers Although not meant primarily for specialists, it was so complete in its presentation of Hinduism that specialists found a place for it on their shelves as a ready reference This book offers the most comprehensive, balanced, accessible and yet deeply scholarly presentation of Hinduism in English. Harold Coward in Pacific Affairs
This study will be of interest both to students of Indian religions and to students of comparative religion interested in creating a context for the discussion of Eastern and Western religions.