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The Hindus: An Alternative History –…
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The Hindus: An Alternative History (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2009; vuoden 2009 painos)

– tekijä: Wendy Doniger

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
475939,037 (3.97)17
A narrative account of history and myth that offers a new way of understanding one of the world's oldest major religions, this book 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; 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. Wendy Doniger, one of the world's foremost scholars of Hinduism, illuminates those moments within the tradition that resist forces that would standardize or establish a canon.--From publisher description.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:kaulsu
Teoksen nimi:The Hindus: An Alternative History
Kirjailijat:Wendy Doniger
Info:Penguin Press HC, The (2009), Hardcover, 800 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:Hinduism, Hindu history, India

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The Hindus: An Alternative History (tekijä: Wendy Doniger) (2009)

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» Katso myös 17 mainintaa

Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 9) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Covered a lot of ground on many different topics, but I was hoping to read more about the myths and traditions i grew up with, i realize it's only one book and can't cover everything. ( )
  AnupGampa | Jun 30, 2018 |
I ( )
  seschanfield | Mar 7, 2016 |
A collection of trees depicting the vast forest of Hinduism, giving a better overview than generalities. The author shifts her focus throughout the history, but there is a subtle design and a variety of themes that reoccur (women, horses, Dalits). One comes away from the book with a myriad of impressions which encapsulates the diversity Hindu experience. The prose is witty but never irreverent. ( )
  le.vert.galant | Jan 26, 2015 |
Whatever the layer of Hindu tradition, or period of Indian history, Doniger has fascinating things to say about it—the sources of Indus Valley civilization, the relationship between the sacrifice descriptions in the Rig Veda and actual practice, the obscurities of the Brahmanas and Upanishads, the narrative strands and evolution of the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata, a bullshit-free take on “Sects and Sex in the Tantric Puranas and the Tantras,” and of course, the Mughals and the British Raj.

Wendy Doniger's style is direct, and she does not hide behind academic jargon or specialized vocabulary. She is witty, punny, and incisive. Yes, she is erudite and yes, the references and complexities do come thick and fast, but she is never deliberately oblique or unnecessarily difficult.

As others have said, The Hindus: An Alternative History isn't by itself an introduction to Hinduism. In the decade since I took a basic undergrad one-semester intro to Hinduism, I have read a modern translation of the Ramayana and a heavily abridged translation of the Mahabharata, and spent about a month studying the Mughals in a grad history seminar. So I had some very basic foundations in place to read this—enough to make sense of much of this text at first go. For others I would suggest, as Doniger does in her introduction, that a little preparatory/supplementary reading would not hurt. There are easier starting points.

It may sound like a slightly awkward recommendation, but this is a perfect second book to read about Hinduism—compelling enough to keep this reader thoroughly engaged through 700 pages of fairly dense prose.

More than enjoyable, it is also important, and not merely because of the well-publicized censorship fight around it. Doniger herself has written (last week in the New York Review of Books) about the censorship fight in India, and also about parallel conflicts over public school curricula in the US. We can’t allow a situation to emerge where only religiously-authorized voices can speak publicly about religions. Scholarship *about* religions needs to have a public face. Our world needs more Wendy Donigers. ( )
3 ääni jrcovey | May 19, 2014 |
Hinduism (the religion) is complicated and complex and probably not coherent. That makes for a difficult book to write but Doniger tackles it brilliantly. She moves from the earliest texts through later ones and then adds the traditions, history, outside influences and finally folklore. She compares it to a banyan tree constantly going back to its roots but coming up with bewilderingly new offshoots. The book is magnificent. She shows, with fascinating detail, how a religion can change completely over the centuries and yet remain the same religion. Even the gods who are worshipped have changed over the millennia (and are still changing). It is also a fun gallop through many aspects of the history of the sub-continent.
Nonetheless, perhaps because of its vegetative complexity, you come out of the book with a coherent view of the development and growth of a thought system.
Strong on myth, philosophy, theology, poetry. She tends to pick out themes which are of interest to her - women and gender issues for instance being very important here - but I think in doing so she is showing how Hinduism is stronger than the blinkered fundamentalists in India and the west. It can and has incorporated change and tolerance and inclusiveness.

If you are of a religious persuasion you will probably not enjoy this book. By being such a superb description of the growth of a religion, it shows with great clarity what a man-made, though very important, project religion is and how it reflects, grows out of and feeds back into its society. ( )
1 ääni Caomhghin | Oct 3, 2012 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 9) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Another Incarnation

Visiting India in 1921, E. M. Forster witnessed the eight-day celebration of Lord Krishna’s birthday. This first encounter with devotional ecstasy left the Bloomsbury aesthete baffled. “There is no dignity, no taste, no form,” he complained in a letter home. Recoiling from Hindu India, Forster was relieved to enter the relatively rational world of Islam. Describing the muezzin’s call at the Taj Mahal, he wrote, “I knew at all events where I stood and what I heard; it was a land that was not merely atmosphere but had definite outlines and horizons.”
 
Passages From India

Any of us might make the same mistake: I didn't really notice the subtitle of Wendy Doniger's massive study, "The Hindus." I knew that she was an eminent Sanskrit scholar at the University of Chicago, author of many books about cultural, religious and folkloric beliefs, and a translator of several Indian classics, including "The Rig Veda" and "The Kamasutra." Her annotations to the latter, that notorious manual of sexual practice, are, I can attest, as entertaining and informative as the book itself.
 
A People and Their Karma

When I first picked up "The Hindus" -- a tome seemingly rich with scholarship and, at 780 hardbound pages, as hefty as the legendary demon Kumbhakarna -- I was struck most of all by the author's name on its cover: Wendy Doniger. A mist of apprehension spritzed my Hindu soul. Could this lady (a professor at the University of Chicago) be the same Wendy Doniger who wrote last year -- in one of the more batty commentaries in an election season replete with unhinged scrivenings -- that Sarah Palin's "greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman"? If so, could this author really be trusted with a history of my people, the Hindus?
 
Understanding Hinduism

The self-appointed custodian of Hinduism who threw an egg at Wendy Doniger at a lecture hall in London in 2003 was evidently ignorant of her credentials. Doniger, a distinguished professor at the University of Chicago, is arguably the foremost, and unarguably the most prolific, scholar of Hinduism in the western world. Apart from translating the Rig Veda, Manu and Kamasutra into English, she has authored a number of monographs. When a scholar of her stature brings to bear half-a-century's work and understanding to provide a synthesised account of the subject, it necessarily evokes wide interest. Simply put, the reader is not disappointed.
 
Beheading Hindus
And other alternative aspects of Wendy Doniger's history of a mythology
 
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
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Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Katherine Ulrich--student, friend, editor supreme--

and

Will Dalrymple--inspiration and comrade in the good fight
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A narrative account of history and myth that offers a new way of understanding one of the world's oldest major religions, this book 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; 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. Wendy Doniger, one of the world's foremost scholars of Hinduism, illuminates those moments within the tradition that resist forces that would standardize or establish a canon.--From publisher description.

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