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From one of the world’s foremost scholars on Hinduism, a vivid reinterpretation of its history.
An engrossing and definitive narrative account of history and myth that offers a new way of understanding one of the world’s oldest major religions, The Hindus elucidates the relationship between recorded history and imaginary worlds.
Hinduism does not lend itself easily to a strictly chronological account: many of its central texts cannot be reliably dated even within a century; its central tenets—karma, dharma, to name just two—arise at particular moments in Indian history and differ in each era, between genders, and caste to caste; and what is shared among Hindus is overwhelmingly outnumbered by the things that are unique to one group or another. Yet the greatness of Hinduism—its vitality, its earthiness, its vividness—lies precisely in many of those idiosyncratic qualities that continue to inspire debate today. …[more]