The Encyclopedia of Hinduism contains over 900 entries reflecting recent advances in scholarship which have raised new theoretical and methodological issues as well as identifying new areas of study which have not been addressed previously. The debate over the term 'Hinduism' in the light of post-Orientalist critiques is just one example of how once standard academic frameworks have been called into question. Entries range from 150-word definitions of terms and concepts to 5,000-word in-depth investigations of major topics.
The Encyclopedia covers all aspects of Hinduism but departs from other works in including more ethnographic and contemporary material in contrast to an exclusively textual and historical approach. It includes a broad range of subject matter such as: historical developments (among them nineteenth and twentieth century reform and revival); geographical distribution (especially the diaspora); major and minor movements; philosophies and theologies; scriptures; deities; temples and sacred sites; pilgrimages; festivals; rites of passage; worship; religious arts (sculpture, architecture, music, dance, etc.); religious sciences (e.g. astrology); biographies of leading figures; local and regional traditions; caste and untouchability; feminism and women's religion; nationalism and the Hindu radical right; and new religious movements. The history of study and the role of important scholars past and present are also discussed.
Accessibility to all levels of reader has been a priority and no previous knowledge is assumed. However, the in-depth larger entries and the design of the work in line with the latest scholarly advances means that the volume will be of considerable interest to specialists.
The whole is cross-referenced and bibliographies attach to the larger entries. There is a full index.
Abhinav Bharat Society; Abhinavagupta; Abortion; Aditi; Advaita; Aesthetics; Agastya; Agni; Ahalya; Ahamkara; Ahimsa; Airavata; Aiyanar; Akhil Bharatiya Sadhu Samaj; Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti; Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad; Alakha; Alakshmi; Almsgiving/dana; Alvar; Amaravati; Anand Marg; Anandamayi Ma; Anasuya; Angiras; Anna-prashana (first solid food); Annapurna; Antah-karana; Antal or Andal; Antyeshti (funeral); Apasmara; Apsaras; Aranyakas; Aranyakas; Architecture; Ardhanishvara; Arjuna; Arnold, E.; Art; Artha; Arthashastra; Artha-vada?; Arti; Arundhati; Arya Samaj; Aryabhata; Aryaman; Asana ; Asceticism/tapas; Ashram; ashramas [general entry]; Ashtanga Yoga; Ashvalayana; Ashvins; Asiatick Researches; Asiatick Society of Bengal/Royal Asiatic Society; Astika/nastika; Astika/nastika; Asuniti; Asura; Atman; Atmaram Panderung; Atri; Aurobindo Ghose/Shri Aurobindo; Auroville; authority e.g. scriptures, gurus, priests, scholars, tradition etc. [general entry]; Avatara (Ten, Twenty-Four, Thrity-Nine) including Matsya, Ekasringa, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna and Kalki, as well as amshavatara and purnavatara; Ayodhya; Ayurveda; Badarayana; Badarayana; Bal Gangadhar Tilak; Bal Thackeray; Balak Das; Balambika; Balarama; Balarama; Bali; Ban on widow remarriage; Bankim Chandra Chatterjee; Basava; Basham, A.L.; Bauls; Besant, Annie; Bhagavad-Gita; Bhagavatas; Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh/Osho; Bhajan; Bhakti (as path); Bhakti movement; Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati; Bharat Dharma Mahamandala; Bharati; Bharati, A.; Bharatiya Janata Party; Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan; Bhasa; Bhatrihari; Bhattaji Dikshita; Bhavagupta; Bhedabheda/Dvaitadvaita; Bhikshu; Bhima; Bhima Bhoi; Bhimrao Ram Ambedkar; Bhishma; Bhuta; Biardeau, M.; Bijoy Krishna Goswami; Bindu; Bir Devi; Blavatsky, Madame Helena; Blood sacrifice; Books, comics, newspapers & magazines; Brahm Shankar Misra; Brahma; Brahma Kumaris; Brahma Sutras; Brahmacarya; Brahman; Brahman; Brahmanas; Brahmanas; Brahman-atman; Brahmanism; Brahmo Samaj; Brihaspati; Brockington, J.; Buddhism's Relationship with Hinduism; Buhler, G.; Burnouf, E.; Caitanya; Calendar including seasons (ritu) & months (masa); Candidas; caste [general entry]; Castration & eunuchs; Celibacy; Chandas; Chaudhuri, N.; Child marriage; Chittrai; Chuda Karana (tonsure); Coeurdoux, G.L.; Consecration (abhimantara, abhisheka); Contemporary Movements ???; Contraception; Conversion; Coomaraswamy, A.; cosmogony [general entry]; cosmology including the world egg and other models of the universe, worlds, heavens, netherworlds & hells [general entry]; Courtesans; Dada Lekhraj; Dadoba Panderung; Dakini; Daksha; Dalits/oucastes/untouchables/pancama/ harijans; Dance; Darshana; Dasarajna; Dasgupta, S.; Dashahra/Dussehra; Dasharatha; Dattatreya; Day of Brahma; de Nobili, R.; Debendranath Tagore; Deccan Educational Society; deities, gods and goddesses [general entry]; Deussen, P.; Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft; Dev Samaj; Devadasis; Devaki; Devi Mahatmya; Dhanurveda; Dharma; Dharmashastras; Dhenu; Dhonde Kehav Karve; Dikpalas; Diksha; Divali; Divination; Divine Light Mission/Premis; Divorce; Domestic altars (worship at); domestic and family deities; Doniger, W.; Dow, A.; Dowry; Dowry death; Drama; Draupadi; Drona; Dubois, J.A.; Dumont, L.; Duperron, A.; Durga/Amba; Durgapuja/Navratri; Dvaita; Dvaraka; Dvija/dvijati/twice-born; Dyaus Pitar; Eck, D.; Edgerton, F.; Education; Eidlitz, W.; Elements/bhutas (prithivi, apas, vayu, agni, akasha); Eliade, M.; Emerson, R.W.; ethics [general entry]; Euthanasia; Farquhar, J.N.; Fasting; Feminism; festivals/utsava [general entry]; Fillozat, J.; Film; Fire/Homa /Agnihotra; Foeticide ; Food (cf. festivals, caste etc.); Forms of marriage (or of getting a wife): Brahma; Arsha; Daiva; Gandharva; Asura; Rakshasa; Paishaca; Asura; Frauwallner, E.; Gana; Ganapatyas; Gandhari; Gandharva; Gandharvaveda; Gandhi Jayanti; Ganesha; Ganeshacaturthi; Ganga; Ganga Dasahara; Gangesha Upadhyaya;