About the Book
One of the noblest and most useful tasks to which we can commit ourselves is a greater understanding of how and why people believe as they do. What people believe-and why they believe it- profoundly influences the way they act. Religious beliefs and cultural assumptions are often so intimately intertwined that it is rarely, if ever, possible to disentangle them.
The Handy Hinduism GK Book is an easy to use comparative guide for anyone seeking a basic understanding of Hinduism. In this book you will find answers to questions related to history, leaders, organization, symbols, beliefs, membership, and much more.
About the Author
Dr. John Renard has written extensively on the history of religion. Since finishing a Ph.D. in Islamic studies in 1978 at Harvard, he's been teaching courses on Islam and other religious traditions to undergraduate and graduate students at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Religion is one of the most powerful and pervasive forces in our world. To dismiss religion as so much superstition and delusional thinking is to brush aside one of the most important features of the human condition: what people believe-and why they believe it-profoundly influence the way they act. Religious beliefs and cultural assumptions are often so intimately intertwined that it is rarely, if ever, possible to disentangle them. It is possible, for the sake of clarity and to promote further discussion to provide a general outline of major themes in history, belief, structure, and practice. But it is essential to keep in mind that any study of a phenomenon so complex and broad begins from a particular point of view, makes certain working assumptions and must inevitably indulge in the luxury of sweeping generalizations.
All religious traditions represent vast and complex developments over many centuries and in countless cultural contexts. Reducing them, as I have done here, to sixty pages means barely scratching the surface to offer the merest hint of their richness. This volume's modest goal is to provide the kind of solid, basic information upon which interested readers might build a broader and deeper understanding of Hinduism through further investigation.
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