The author was visiting professor at the University of Chicago during spring and summer of 1959. He delivered course of three lectures on South Indian history and the present work is based upon one of them bearing on the Development of Religion in South India.
In the first chapter, the author details the fascinating developments within the Hindu society with special reference to South India and their contribution to the common fund. The author argues that the developments in South India cannot be studied in isolation, but always against the background of movements in the whole country.
In chapter two, the author discusses the fusion of Aryan with non-Aryan cults and the beginning of Hinduism and the Sangam period.
In chapter three, he discusses the growth of movement marked by a fervid devotion to a personal god which found expression in numerous popular devotional hymns, i.e., Bhakti movement.
In the fourth chapter, the author considers in detail the history of temple worship and the growth of religious sects.
In India philosophy has always stood in close relation to various aspects of life. In chapter five the author discusses the interaction between philosophy and religion.
In chapter six, the author gives some account of the institution of organized Hindus, viz., the temple, its priests and daily routine, the festivals and vows observed in temples and households, the monasteries and orders of monk. Finally the author describes the impact of Vijayanagar empire on the religion in South India and the reforms and modern Hinduism.
About the Author:
Professor K.A. Nilakanta Sastri was doyen of South Indian history. He was professor of ancient Indian history, culture and archaeology at University of Madras. His other published works are The Cholas: The Comprehensive History of India, vol. II, The Maurayas and Satavahanas; A History of South India: and Age of the Nandas and Mauryas.
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