Hinduism in the Modern World presents a new and unprecedented attempt to survey the nature, range, and significance of modern and contemporary Hinduism in South Asia and the global diaspora. Organized to reflect the direction of recent scholarly research, this volume breaks with earlier texts on this subject by seeking to overcome a misleading dichotomy between an elite, intellectualist modern Hinduism and the rest of what has so often been misleadingly termed traditional or popular Hinduism. Without neglecting the significance of modern reformist visions of Hinduism, this book reconceptualizes the meaning of modern Hinduism both by expanding its content and by situating its expression within a larger framework of history, ethgraphy, and contemporary critical theory. This volume equips undergraduate readers with the tools necessary to appreciate the richness and diversity of Hinduism as it has developed during the past two centuries.
Brian A. Hatcher is Packard Chair of Theology at Tufts University, where he is also Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion. He is the author of several monographs on Hindu reform movements in colonial Bengal, the dynamics of modern Hindu eclecticism, and the life and activities of the social reformer, Ishvarchandra Vidyasagar. In his other published work he has explored the transformation of Sanskrit learning in colonial Bengal, highlighted the world of vernacular intellectual life, and worked to understand contemporary Hinduism against the backdrop of colonial history and postcolonial theory.