Chapter

The Historical Context

Arvind Sharma

in Modern Hindu Thought

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195676389
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081974 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195676389.003.0001
The Historical Context

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The history of Hinduism can be demarcated into the pre-Vedic and Vedic period, the classical period, the medieval period, and the modern period. In order to gain a full understanding of the intellectual currents that characterize modern Hindu thought, it would be necessary to keep in mind the historical situation in which this process was occurring. Certain components of the Western presence in India played an important role in providing the context for a reconfiguration of Hindu concepts, four of which proved particularly consequential–Christianity, science, and the question of social and political arrangements. During the classical period, Hindu thought flowed through the channels of various schools of philosophy such as Nyāya or Vedānta. During the medieval period, the personalities of the saint-poets of the Bhakti movement began to stand out. This trend towards individualism becomes more pronounced during the modern period when individual thinkers began to matter.

Keywords: history; Hinduism; Vedic period; classical period; medieval period; modern period; Hindu thought; Christianity; science; political arrangements

Chapter.  2753 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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