Top positive review
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Excellent Survey of Recent Literature
on September 7, 2000
Gavin Flood's introduction is not only comprehensive, but readable. I have taught this book for two years now and feel that my students glean a sense not just of Hindu traditions today but also of the history and transformations of Hindu traditions through time. The best thing about the book is the subtle incorporation of the latest scholarly work on Hinduism. At the same time, Flood appreciates the insider's perspective and what is really significant to Hindus themselves. Flood has conducted research in both North and South India and is sensitive to the geographic differences of religious practice in India.
Previous reviews on amazon.com suggesting that Flood uses the Aryan migration question as an organizing principle of his book are ludicrous. He devotes a total of 5 pages to this discussion in the middle of the second chapter. Hardly an obsession. Furthermore, the unsubstantiated charge of Orientalism by another reviewer also seems misplaced. A minute's glance at the bibliography shows that Flood has used Indological (textual), anthropological, historical, and feminist scholarly literature to produce his introduction.
This is an excellent work on the history of Hindu religious traditions that deserves a place among the best out there.