Indian Religions: A Historical Reader of Spiritual Experience and Expression


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This specially commissioned reader of the key written and oral texts by spiritual teachers from India, from the Rig Veda (3500 BC) to the present day, covers all the major traditions: Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and "new" Indian religions. The texts are presented in overlapping sections, each comprising a historically and thematically defined stage of a religion. This allows the development of the various traditions to be followed without their being isolated from one another. No single book could adequately select texts representing all aspects of Indian religion (ritual, institutions, ethics, myth, philosophy, experience), hence the focus of this reader is on individual religious experience. And since most Indian traditions preserve texts featuring experiential religion, and this selection covers a wide range of traditions, the book provides a comprehensive introduction to the history of religions of South Asia. The introduction discusses the phenomenon of spiritual experience and its relationship to organised religion and current controversies in the study of mysticism. The book should appeal to all readers interested in India and Eastern religions and to undergraduate students of religions and of South Asian culture.

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C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
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