The Hindus: An Alternative History (Paperback)
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"Don't miss this equivalent of a brilliant graduate course froma feisty and exhilarating teacher."
-"The Washington Post"
An engrossing and definitive narrative account of history and myth, "The Hindus" offers a new way of understanding one of the world's oldest major religions. Hinduism does not lend itself easily to a strictly chronological account. Many of its central texts cannot be reliably dated within a century; its central tenets arise at particular moments in Indian history and often differ according to gender or caste; and the differences between groups of Hindus far outnumber the commonalities. Yet the greatness of Hinduism lies precisely in many of these idiosyncratic qualities that continues to inspire debate today. This groundbreaking work elucidates the relationship between recorded history and imaginary worlds, the inner life and the social history of Hindus.
About the Author
Wendy Doniger (Ph.D. Harvard University) is Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. She first trained as a dancer under George Balanchine and Martha Graham and then went on to complete two doctorates in Sanskrit and Indian Studies (from Harvard and Oxford). She has taught at Harvard, Oxford, the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and the University of California at Berkeley. In 1984 she was elected president of the American Academy of Religion, in 1989 a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 1996 a member of the American Philosophical Society, and in 1997 president of the Association for Asian Studies. She has been awarded seven honorary degrees, and her book The Hindus: An Alternative History was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.