Thinking Globally about Hinduism

T. N. Madan

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195137989
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Thinking Globally about Hinduism

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  • Interfaith Relations
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Although Hinduism is associated with one region of the world—South Asia—it is a global religion in two senses of the term. It has provided a religious complement to the diaspora of Hindus around the world and thus contributed to pluralist cultures in such disparate places as contemporary Fiji and England. Moreover, throughout its history Hinduism has embodied the spirit of pluralism. At its most basic, Hinduism may be defined as the religion of Hindus—the way they affirm their inner faith and order their everyday life. India is, of course, where most of the Hindus of the world live and where they have the status of the dominant religious community. There they constitute 82 percent of India's more than one billion person population. This article examines the pluralistic character of Hinduism; the relationship between Hinduism, caste, sect, and the family; the revival and reinterpretation of Hinduism; and the flowering and communalism of Hinduism.

Keywords: Hinduism; pluralism; Hindus; India; caste; sect; family; communalism

Article.  4081 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Interfaith Relations ; Hinduism

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