A major contribution toward the ongoing debates on the nature and history of Hinduism in India Is Hinduism coherent, or should it be viewed as a conglomeration of many distinctive traditions? What were (or are) its most important and central teachings? When did the idea of Hinduism first arise and what have been the consequences? What were the effects of British rule on the religion and what are the effects of continuing modernization? This book responds to all such debates surrounding Hinduism in the colonial and contemporary periods. It emphasizes on Hinduism as it arose and developed in the subcontinent itself-an approach which facilitates greater attention to detail and an understanding of the specific context in which new movements and changes have taken place.
Will Sweetman is Associate Professor of Asian Religions, University of Otago, New Zealand. He studied philosophy, religious studies, and theology at the Universities of Lancaster and Cambridge. He has taught at universities in London and Newcastle, and held research fellowships at the University of Halle, Germany, and the University of Cambridge. He has published three books and several articles on historical and theoretical aspects of the study of Hinduism. Aditya Malik is Professor and Dean in the School of Historical Studies at the newly established Nalanda University, India. He was trained in philosophy, archaeology, history, social anthropology, and religious studies at St Stephen's College, New Delhi; Deccan College, Pune; and the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He received his PhD and Habilitation (professorial degree) in Modern Indian Studies at the University of Heidelberg. He has taught at the Universities of Heidelberg and Canterbury in New Zealand. He was Head of Religious Studies (2002- 2004) at the University of Canterbury. He has been Senior Fellow of the German Research Council, Heidelberg; Visiting Faculty, Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Visiting Professor, University of Delhi; and Fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Social Science Research, Erfurt. He was founding Deputy Director of the New Zealand South Asia Research Centre (NZSAC) and Associate Director of the New Zealand India Research Institute (NZIRI). He has numerous publications on pilgrimage; oral traditions, ritual embodiment and performance; religion, law, and justice; medieval and contemporary historiography; and secularism, religion, and modernity in South Asia.