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Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 23 Apr 1998

3.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 155 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; First Edition edition (23 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192853414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192853417
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 1 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,299,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

very readable and certainly most helpful, with a new and original perspective conveyed in a succinct introductory style. (Ursula King, University of Bristol) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

About the Author Kim Knott is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Community Religions Project at the University of Leeds.


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've picked this book up and put it down so many times. It takes ages to get going and once it does get going it gives you no idea about the hierarchy of ideas in terms of importance, and it doesn't spell out what the main ideas are simply enough. It goes right for the small detail without painting the bigger picture, so you can't see how it all fits together. Reading this guide is like being lost in a maze - without a guide. I'm looking for another introduction to the subject.
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Format: Paperback
This is by far the weakest book in the series on religions they produce, (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Koran, Bible, Buddhism and Sikhism). It is complicated and a lot of it is irrelevant.

The book offers a lot of knowledge on the spread of Hinduism and events that took place during the Modern and Post-Modern period e.g. colonialism, modernity and Hinduism outside India. There is very little on the theological and philosophical writings on the faith. I am comparing this to the other books I have read, as mentioned above.

Poor, overall.
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By A Customer on 11 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book to learn about Hinduism, the religion itself is covered quite well but as, for example, special holidays, particular God,Goddesses worshipped were not talked about in any great length,even named,let alone described.These Gods are as important to Hindus as our God is to us, can you imagine writing a book about Christianity and not mentioning God or Jesus for that matter, there would be no book. I realise that it is only meant as a short introduction, and as that, I feel that a short piece on all aspects of Hinduism would have been far better. I feel that I have been quite generous in giving a 3 star and have recently bought a book for £2 which has much more coverage than this, I only wish that I had borrowed it from a library first but alas I buy instead. At least at Amazon, if more people give feed back, we can buy the books that will really cover the imformation that we need to gain. Keep up the good work Amazon!!
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Format: Paperback
The book gives a fairly good introduction to religious and social aspects of Hinduism. However, there are two points worth noting:
- The order of discourse seems unnecessarily complex. For instance, the concept of divinity and its many embodiments in the form of Gods and Goddesses, which I would consider a fundamental element, is not explained until late in the book.
- There is a gender bias. Almost throughout the book, a lot of emphasis is given to female figures, views and issues. Understandable given the writer's background, but I think a very short introduction should be more impartial.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I initially brought this book on recommendation of my tutor who advised us all to purchase it for our degree in religious studies. Having little knowledge of the Hindu faith I found this really useful as it built upon my knowledge I already have attained and furthermore it was simple to understand and follow, it looked at various areas such as basic beliefs, main Gods and even had a section devoted to Hindu women, where Knott looks in depth at the disparity faced by them. Her book makes a clear distinction between those who study Hinduism and those who practice it, so gives a wide view of the faith. I would strongly advise anyone who is studying Hinduism or simply wishing to learn more about the faith to purchase it!!
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Format: Paperback
Hinduism has a special place among the world's major religions, being of great antiquity and being, until recent times, an ethnic or racial religion, like Judaism, Sikhism or Shinto. In the last century it has spread its teachings to the West and in doing so has fragmented and branched into an even more complex variety, so that, as the author of this book says, we must now talk of 'Hinduisms', in the plural. So the writing of a very short introduction that will do justice to this subject is a tall order. Kim Knott succeeds splendidly.
She does not shirk problematic topics, such as the evils of the caste system or the burning of widows. In fact, she devotes a fair amount of space to the particular difficulties faced by Hindu women.
Knott being a British academic, and a Quaker, this is an outsider's view, a learned, sympathetic and interested outsider's view. It is none the worse for that. Including a map, a timeline, a glossary, excellent illustrations and suggestions for further reading, it is packed with a surprising amount of information in such a small space.
If you have only a passing interest in Hinduism, this book may tell you all you want to know. If you wish to pursue the study, this is the perfect introduction. A good next step would be an annotated edition of the Bhagavad Gita.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is at best confusing. Basic information is missed out. I felt no clearer on the history, concepts and practises of Hinduism after reading it. Should have been more concise and relevant. Made me appreciate the other books in the series.
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Format: Paperback
This little book provides the reader with both background and indepth information on the vast group of practices and beliefs tied together under the banner of Hinduism. Written for those with no prior knowledge but also offering analysis in some detail on topics such as the position of women and Dalits or 'untouchables', and the Hindu religion in the diaspora, it should be entertaining and informative for a wide variety of people.
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