The Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism

Paperback | November 1, 1989

byA.L. BashamEditorKenneth G. Zysk

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The late A.L. Basham was one of the world's foremost authorities on ancient Indian culture and religion. Modelled on his monumental work The Wonder That Was India, this account of the origins and development of classical Hinduism represents a lifetime of reflection on the subject, and offersan intriguing introduction to one of the richest of all Asian traditions. Synthesizing Basham's great knowledge of the art, architecture, literature, and religion of South Asia, this concise history traces the spiritual life of India from the time of the Indus Culture (around 2700 B.C.E) through the crystallization of classical Hinduism in the first centuries of thecommon era. It chronicles as well the rise of other mystical and ascetic traditions, such as Buddhism and Jainism, and follows Hinduism's later incarnations in the West, making it an especially comprehensive introduction to the subject. Unlike Christianity or Islam, Hinduism was not inspired by single great prophet but rather evolved organically. The wide range of influences and sources--along with the great number of sacred texts in ancient languages--can make the Hindu system of faith and practice seem almost impenetrable tothe uninitiated. With its vivid presentation of Hinduism's sources--from the warrior Aryans to the wandering ascetics--and its clearly written explanations and analyses of the major Hindu texts--among them the Rg-veda, the Brahmanas, Upanishads, and the Mahabharata and Ramayana--The Origins ofClassical Hinduism clarifies much of Hinduism's enduring mystique. With an especially helpful bibliography, numerous illustrations of Hindu art never before published, and a lucid, accessible style, this book is must reading for anyone who has ever been intrigued by this fascinatingreligion.

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From Our Editors

Arthur Basham (1914-86) was one of the world's foremost scholars of ancient Indian culture and religion. His account of the origins and development of classical Hinduism compiled and expanded posthumously, represents a lifetime of sturdy and reflection on the subject.

From the Publisher

The late A.L. Basham was one of the world's foremost authorities on ancient Indian culture and religion. Modelled on his monumental work The Wonder That Was India, this account of the origins and development of classical Hinduism represents a lifetime of reflection on the subject, and offersan intriguing introduction to one of the rich...

From the Jacket

Arthur Basham (1914-86) was one of the world's foremost scholars of ancient Indian culture and religion. His account of the origins and development of classical Hinduism compiled and expanded posthumously, represents a lifetime of sturdy and reflection on the subject.

The late A.L. Basham, a distinguished scholar of South Asia, was the author of many books, among them The Wonder That Was India, and The History and Doctrines of the Ajivikas. Kenneth G. Zysk, a former student of Basham's, is Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Literature at New York University. His books include Ascet...

other books by A.L. Basham

The Wonder That Was India: A Survey of the Culture of the Indian Sub-Continent Before the Coming of…
The Wonder That Was India: A Survey of the Culture of t...

Hardcover|Jan 1 2001

$109.00 online$124.50list price(save 12%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 5.39 × 7.99 × 0.43 inPublished:November 1, 1989Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195073495

ISBN - 13:9780195073492

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From Our Editors

Arthur Basham (1914-86) was one of the world's foremost scholars of ancient Indian culture and religion. His account of the origins and development of classical Hinduism compiled and expanded posthumously, represents a lifetime of sturdy and reflection on the subject.

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"This is a lucid, comprehensive introduction to the essentials of classic Hinduism."--Bradley Nystrom, California State Univ., Sacramento