I can’t wait to get hold of this new book The Hindus: An Alternative History written byWendy Doniger. She’s an ex-professor at the University of Chicago who has translated several ancient books written in Sanskrit.
It will be interesting to see a philologist’s, as opposed to say a historian’s, interpretation of the cultural history of the Hindus. Here’s one review.
Below is an excerpt from the first few pages of this 780 page book:
This book tells the story of Hinduism chronologically and historically and emphasizes the history of marginalized rather than mainstream Hindus. My aims have been to demonstrate: (1) that the Hindus throughout their long history have been enriched by the contribution by women, the lower castes and other religions; (2) that although there are a number of things that have been characteristics of many Hindus over the ages (the worship of several gods, reincarnation, karma) none has been true to all Hindus – its vitality, its earthiness, its vividness – lies precisely in many of those idiosyncratic qualities that some Hindus today are ashamed of and would deny; (3) and that the history of tensions between the various Hinduisms, and between the different sorts of Hindus, undergrids the violence of the contemporary Indian political and religious scene. [Emphasis mine.]
This is going to be fun, I can tell.
[Picture Courtesy: The Wall Street Journal]