Hindus by Julius Lipner (University of Cambridge, UK)
'Hinduism' is a vastly complex phenomenon, a world religion with a history of over 3000 years. It has produced men and women who have made outstanding contributions across the range of civilised human behaviour, and played a crucial part in the rise of two other great religions - Buddhism and Sikhism. Julius Lipner was born and raised in India and is able to draw on his own experience of Hindu beliefs and practices to explain what it means to be Hindu in a changing world. Hindus examines the religion as a plural phenomenon - that is, as a family of religions, rather than a monolithic entity. The approach is thematic, and the author considers various topics - such as the status of women - in more than one place and from more than one angle. He also tells and sometimes analyses Hindu stories, stressing the narrative quality of Hindu religion and giving us an insight into the nature of the Hindu phenomenon itself. Hindus will be valuable on more than one level: as a source of instruction, as a basis for discussion, seminars amd further study, even as a challenge for further research. It provides a new perspective on what it means to live as a Hindu and enables readers to appreciate this great and marvellous religious phenomenon, its extraordinary richness, and the way it encompasses human experience from the sublime to the ridiculous.