Chapter

History of the Notion that Hinduism Has No Sense of History

Arvind Sharma

in Hinduism and Its Sense of History

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780195665314
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082032 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195665314.003.0001
History of the Notion that Hinduism Has No Sense of History

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This chapter traces the roots of the notion that Hinduism as a religion, or the Hindus as a people, lack a sense of history. The explicit or tacit assessment that Hindus lack a sense of history is likely to come from a people who, by comparison, possess it. One, therefore, thinks naturally of the encounter of the Greeks with India, for ‘what is remarkable about the Greeks is not the fact that their historical thought combined a residue of elements which we would call non-historical but the fact that side by side with these it contained elements of what we call history’. Thus, the invasion of India by Alexander in 326 BC takes on not merely a historical but historiographic significance as well, not least because of the numerous hands which chronicled it, and because of the Graeco–Roman tradition of recounting it in Late Antiquity.

Keywords: Hindus; Hinduism; historical sense; Greeks; Indian; Alexander; Alexander’s invasion of India; Late Antiquity

Chapter.  14380 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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