Chapter

The Hindu Religious Tradition: Secularism as Pluralism

T. N. Madan

in Modern Myths, Locked Minds

Second edition

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780198065104
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080182 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198065104.003.0006
The Hindu Religious Tradition: Secularism as Pluralism

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Two problems arise when exploring the ideologies of secularism and fundamentalism as defined in this book in the context of the Hindu religious tradition. First, it has been asserted by historians that Hinduism is a ‘deceptive term’ and ‘difficult to define’, and that special care has to be exercised in its ‘proper use’. Second, many scholars have questioned whether the sacred–secular dichotomy of domains is at all present in the Hindu religious tradition, or present only in a sense which is different from that of the Christian perspective on the subject. This chapter examines these two problems and the sceptical attitude that underlies them. First, it discusses the unity of the sacred and the secular and then considers religious pluralism. It also carries an Appendix at the end of the chapter titled ‘The Ashokan State. The Weberian Thesis’.

Keywords: Hinduism; secularism; fundamentalism; religious pluralism; religious tradition; sacredness

Chapter.  11604 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Religion

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