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The Spirit of Hinduism: A Christian Perspective on Hindu Life and Thought Paperback – 24 Mar 2006

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About the Author

Dr David Burnett was until recently Academic Dean at All Nations Christian College, Ware, UK, and is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He is author of a number of distinguished books including Clash of Worlds, The Spirit of Buddhism and World of the Spirits.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Very thorough discussion of a complex subject 2 Sept. 2014
By Debbie - Published on
"The Spirit of Hinduism" is a book describing the development of different religious ideas found in Hinduism throughout its history. The author started back before recorded history and discussed the writings and developments made at different times. Since Hinduism seems to borrow religious ideas from any religion it comes into contact with, it almost seemed like it'd be easier to describe what it isn't than what it is.

I wanted to know how a Hindu lives out his faith--as in, how it effects or influences his everyday life--and how a Christian could effectively communicate what we believe to a Hindu. I don't feel like this book really helped with that. It did have some interfaith discussion questions and occasionally compared Hindu beliefs to Christian or Muslim beliefs. But generally the author tried to approach Hinduism from a non-critical viewpoint (as in, not questioning the beliefs). It was also focused more on what was taught than on how it's actually lived out.

While I probably understand Hinduism better now, I'm not sure I'm any better prepared to talk religion with a modern Hindu. This probably wasn't the ideal book for my intent as it's more about Hindu thought throughout history than modern Hindu ideas which I might actually encounter.

Update: I've read a few "what various religions believe" books now that tried to explain Hinduism. I realized that they were so simplifying the religion that they weren't much help. This book gave me a foundational understanding, and I probably just need to talk with any Hindu I come across about what variation they believe and go from there (which is a good idea in any case). So, in the end, I think this was a more useful book than I'd originally thought.
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