6 Pages


BySushil Mittal, Gene Thursby

T he Hindu World is a contribution to a series of books on great cultures of the world.Compare The Greek World (1995) edited by Anton Powell, an earlier volume in the series and another large book like this one that brings together previously unpublished work by authors who are engaged in academic teaching and research. We follow Powell in organizing the work of our contributors by general themes that function as plausible entry points for inquiry into the Hindu world but do not pretend to reveal a deep structure or irreducible essence of the “world” that is retrieved, reconstructed, and represented from a number of perspectives. However, we depart from Powell’s procedure by assigning to each of our contributors a single noun or adjective derived from the Sanskrit language as the topic for their chapter. Where he proposed to bring together “some of the most influential new approaches used by analysts of Greek history” we propose to show that even a limited lexicon can open into a distinctive “world” of human possibilities generated in a culture that deserves to be designated as classical.