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The Hindus : an alternative history

Author: Wendy Doniger
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
A narrative account of history and myth that offers a new way of understanding one of the world's oldest major religions, this book elucidates the relationship between recorded history and imaginary worlds. Hinduism does not lend itself easily to a strictly chronological account: many of its central texts cannot be reliably dated; its central tenets--karma, dharma, to name just two--arise at particular moments in  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Wendy Doniger
ISBN: 9781594202056 1594202052 9780143116691 014311669X 0670020311 9780670020317
OCLC Number: 256534061
Awards: Commended for National Book Critics Circle Award (Nonfiction) 2009
Description: 779 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Contents: The man or the rabbit in the moon --
Working with available light --
Time and space in India : 50 million to 50,000 BCE --
Civilization in the Indus Valley : 50,000 to 1500 BCE --
Between the ruins and the text : 2000 to 1500 BCE --
Humans, animals, and gods in the Rig Veda : 1500 to 1000 BCE --
Sacrifice in the Brahmanas : 800 to 500 BCE --
Renunciation in the Upanishads : 600 to 200 BCE --
The three (or is it four?) aims of life in the Hindu imaginary --
Women and ogresses in the Ramayana : 400 BCE to 200 CE --
Violence in the Mahabharata : 300 BCE to 300 CE --
Dharma in the Mahabharata : 300 BCE to 300 CE --
Escape clauses in the Shastras : 100 BCE to 400 CE --
Bhakti in South India : 100 BCE to 900 CE --
Goddesses and gods in the early Puranas : 300 to 600 CE --
Sects and sex in the Tantric Puranas and the Tantras : 600 to 900 CE --
Fusion and rivalry under the Delhi sultanate : 650 to 1500 CE --
Avatar and accidental grace in the later Puranas : 800 to 1500 CE --
Philosophical feuds in South India and Kashmir : 800 to 1300 CE --
Dialogue and tolerance under the Mughals : 1500 to 1700 CE --
Hinduism under the Mughals : 1500 to 1700 CE --
Caste, class, and conversion under the British Raj : 1600 to 1900 CE --
Suttee and reform in the twilight of the Raj : 1800 to 1947 CE --
Hindus in America : 1900- --
The past in the present : 1950- --
Inconclusion, or The abuse of history.
Responsibility: Wendy Doniger.
More information:

Abstract:

A narrative account of history and myth that offers a new way of understanding one of the world's oldest major religions, this book elucidates the relationship between recorded history and imaginary worlds. Hinduism does not lend itself easily to a strictly chronological account: many of its central texts cannot be reliably dated; its central tenets--karma, dharma, to name just two--arise at particular moments in Indian history and differ in each era, between genders, and caste to caste; and what is shared among Hindus is overwhelmingly outnumbered by the things that are unique to one group or another. Yet the greatness of Hinduism--its vitality, its earthiness, its vividness--lies precisely in many of those idiosyncratic qualities that continue to inspire debate today. Wendy Doniger, one of the world's foremost scholars of Hinduism, illuminates those moments within the tradition that resist forces that would standardize or establish a canon.--Publisher description.

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Misses the Mark in every Way

by vishalsagarwal (WorldCat user published 2010-02-07) Poor Permalink

The book is replete with errors on every page - methodological, factual and interpretational. Just to give a few examples:

1. In chapter 5, she claims that the [Rig]Veda has no Shudra gods. Not only is it anachronistic to talk of Varnas of Gods, her claim is quite incorrect. ...
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