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An Introduction to Hinduism Paperback – 8 Aug 1996
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"This new introduction to Hinduism is distinguished by exceptionally useful chapter divisions, good detail combined with ease of reading, and a particular focus on the integrated quality of the evolution of Hindu thought....The book's balance between scholarly detail and clear, readable elucidation of issues is commendable....In all, this is a valuable contribution to the undergraduate classroom. Libraries whose Hinduism holdings include other good introductions should, nonetheless, acquire this one." Choice
"Flood's book is a very welcome newcomer, comprehensive, detailed and judicious." Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Theological Studies
"...is one of the best and most informative intiations into Hinduism to date." Journal of Indo-European Studies
"An Introduction to Hinduism is a highly readable and authoritative conspectus on this great religion....An Introduction to Hinduism will surely find a much wider audience, for scholars of comparative religion, Indologists, and non-specialists in their distinctive ways will certainly find this handsome book well worth reading." David Hicks, Asian Thought and Society
A much-needed thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism, which traces its development from ancient origins and the major deities to the modern world. Hinduism is discussed as both a global religion and a form of nationalism. Emphasis is given to the tantric traditions, Hindu ritual and Dravidian influences.
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6 August 2001
Professor Flood's intorduction is certainly 'wordy' as the previous reviwer notes but it is intended for the student or seriously interested in Hinduism. For anyone wanting a first time academic introduction they can do no better. As for having 'Western misconceptions' Flood is one of the foremost authorities on this subject and has done his part in breaking down both 'Western' and 'Indian' misconceptions in exploring what Hinduism is now and what it has been in the past. It introduces much of the latest research by both Eastern and Western scholars and as someone who has spent a lot of time on fieldwork in India he is very familiar with all its differences and aspects in its homeland. Certainly not every part of this could be included in what is only an 'introduction' but Flood does far more than 'Sen' or any of the other works the previous reviewer notes. If you want a travel account book then certainly read something else, if you want scholarship and comment then this is definitely the best book on the market.
4 March 2009
This book will be on the reading lists for most people studying Hinduism at British and American universities, and it really is the ultimate authority on the subject. I don't understand how it can be described as `wordy'. It is well written and very easy for anyone with no prior knowledge of the subject to pick up and read. No details are really omitted however and the book is as comprehensive an introduction to Hinduism as you can get. Hinduism is such a broad range of traditions and beliefs that it is very difficult to fit it into one scholarly work, however, the author succeeds in doing this without completely repackaging it for ease of Western categorization and understanding as so often happens. A typical complaint that I have with academic works on `Eastern religions' is how they often manage to skip over such subjects as meditation in just a few pages, however the author doesn't do too badly in this regard. The chapter on Hindu philosophy and theology is the best in the book, and probably the best overall summary I've read of it anywhere. Definitely a must buy for anyone interested in Hinduism.
28 March 2001
I bought this book as a Hindu who wants to learn more about my religion. I was absolutely appalled by it. This was a very wordy book, full of 'facts' but with no sympathy at all for the vibrancy and spirit of the religion. I thought it propagated Western misconceptions, and had a very narrow focus -- didn't understand at all the breadth and diversity within Hinduism. It was also a pretty boring read. Better introductions are 'The Elements of Hinduism' by Stephen Cross, 'Hinduism' by K.M. Sen or a short introduction by Klaus Klostermaier. Avoid this book!
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