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On Hinduism by Wendy Doniger

By Wendy Doniger

During this magisterial quantity of essays, Wendy Doniger complements our realizing of the traditional and intricate faith to which she has committed herself for part a century. This sequence of interconnected essays and lectures surveys the main seriously vital and hotly contested concerns in Hinduism over 3,500 years, from the traditional time of the Vedas to the current day.

The essays examine the character of Hinduism; Hindu ideas of divinity; attitudes pertaining to gender, keep watch over, and hope; the query of truth and phantasm; and the impermanent and the everlasting within the nice Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. one of the questions Doniger considers are: Are Hindus monotheists or polytheists? How can atheists be Hindu, and the way can unrepentant Hindu sinners locate salvation? Why have Hindus committed loads consciousness to the psychology of habit? What does the importance of canine and cows let us know approximately Hinduism? How have Hindu techniques of demise, rebirth, and karma replaced over the process historical past? How and why does a pluralistic religion, outstanding for its highbrow tolerance, foster non secular intolerance?

Doniger concludes with 4 concise autobiographical essays during which she displays on her life of scholarship, Hindu feedback of her paintings, and the effect of Hinduism on her personal philosophy of lifestyles. On Hinduism is the end result of over 40 years of scholarship from a well known specialist on one of many world's nice faiths.

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It is true that some Christians have made this teaching an excuse for doing nothing; for since God is the guarantor and the founder of justice, the establishment of social justice can be left to him. But they knew that this was a wretched excuse, a shabby evasion. With the death of God, however, we can expect nothing from any source but ourselves. We ourselves must undertake to establish social justice. A posi Today's Christians for Violence 77 tion that is certainly courageous and, humanly speaking, valid.

Finally, the third orientation toward violence. This is exemplified by a small group of French Franciscans and their publication, Freres du Monde. ) These Franciscans are at the extreme limit of Christian revolutionary thought. " A clear statement of the conviction latent in Shaull's writings; namely, that revolution is Today's Christians for Violence 57 more fundamental than the faith. But does Father Maillard really believe that one must choose between the Christian faith and revolutionary violence?

Violence is its natural condition, as Thomas Hobbes saw clearly. The individual, be realized, bad to be protected against violence. Starting out from this premiss, he came to the conclusion that only an absolute, all-powerful state, itself ' See, for example, Leonard Reissman, Class in American Society (New York: Macmillan, 1959). 88 Violence using violence, could protect the individual against society's violence. In support of Hobbes's conclusion I could cite a vast company of modern sociologists and philosophers.

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