This volume offers an overview of Hinduism as found in India and the diaspora. Exploring Hinduism in India in dynamic interaction, rather than in isolation, the volume discusses the relation of Hinduism with other religions of Indian origin and with religions which did not originate in India but have been a major feature of its religious landscape. These latter religions include Islam and Christianity and, to a lesser extent, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. The volume also covers Hinduism's close association with Tribal Religions, sometimes called Primal Religions. As its second main theme, the volume examines the phenomenon of Hinduism in the diaspora. The Indian diaspora is now beginning to make its presence felt, both in India and abroad. In India, the Indian government annually hosts a diaspora event called Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), in recognition of the growing importance of the twenty-million-strong diaspora. Although not all Indians are Hindus, most are, both in India and abroad, and a strong sense of Hindu identity is emerging among diasporic Hindus.
This volume fills the need felt by Hindus both in India and the diaspora for more knowledge about modern-day Hinduism, Hindu history and traditions. It takes into account three main aspects of Hinduism: that the active pan-Indian and diasporic language of the Hindus is English; that modern Hindus need a rational rather than a devotional or traditional exposition of the religion; and that they need information about and arguments to address the stereotypes which characterize the presentation of Hinduism in academia and the media, especially in the West.