chapter  6
Constructions of Hinduism at the Nexus of History and Religion
ByRobert Eric Frykenberg
Pages 22

The term "religion", with all its variety of meanings, has no exact equivalent in India. At the heart of virtually all interactions between history and religion during the past century has been one overarching conceptualization. This soft concept, this jumble of inner contradictions which has existed at the nexus of history and religion for hardly two hundred years, is "Hinduism". Hindu as part of a political logic required a supporting ideology which attempted to provide an overarching and legitimizing authority for an imperial structure within which all communities and religions could coexist. Constructions of Hinduism are related to all religions in South Asia, including those which deem themselves to be non-Hindu religions. There is no religion in South Asia which is not, in some sense, Hindu. All religions have had to come to grips, in one way/another, with the overwhelming presence of one or more of the many constructions of Hinduism.