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This volume presents the most recent scholarly thinking about Hinduism in an accessible way. It provides a forum for the best scholars in the world to make their views and research available to a wider audience. While comprehensively covering the textual tradition of Hinduism, the volume also includes material on Hindu folk religions and stresses the importance of region in analyzing Hinduism. In doing so, it reflects the current move away from essentialisl understandings of Hinduism and towards traditionally and regionally specific studies. The Companion as a whole spans the entire field of Hindu studies and is divided into four coherent sections: theoretical issues, textual traditions, theologies, and Hindu society and politics. Contents Contributors Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction: Establishing the Boundaries Part I: Theoretical Issues 1. Colonialism and the Construction of Hinduism 2. Orientalism and Hinduism Part II: Text and Tradition The Sanskrit Textual Traditions 3. Vedas and Upanisads 4. The Dharmasastras 5. The Sanskrit Epics 6. The Puranas Textual Traditions in Regional Languages I. Tamil Hindu Literature 8. The Literature of Hinduism in Malayalam 9. North Indian Hindi Devotional Literature Major Historical Developments 10. The Saiva Traditions I1. History of Vaisnava Traditions: An Esquisse 12. The Renouncer Tradition 13. The Householder Tradition in Hindu Society. Printed Pages: 616.