Faith in Hinduism

John.Powers at John.Powers at
Fri Aug 15 02:09:34 UTC 1997

Thanks to everyone who responded to my query about faith in Hinduism. I'm
sorry that it was a bit vague, but my hope in making it so was that it
would get a range of responses, which it certainly did. My student's
project is conceived as a sort of Geertzian approach, taking a category
that's important in Western monotheistic traditions (faith) and asking what
sort of role (if any) it plays in Hinduism. This is intended to reveal
something about the internal logic and worldview of Hinduism through
comparison and contrast.

Since I mainly work on Buddhist philosophical texts, I'm not well-versed in
devotional literature, so I recommended that the student in question speak
to a colleague who is an expert on bhakti (Dr Richard Barz) and do a key
word search on bhakti in the library catalogue. Of course, the Indian
concept of bhakti has many significant differences when compared to the
English word "faith," and the same could be said of 'sraddhaa and faith.

Many thanks for the excellent suggestions of books and other sources. I've
passed them on to my student, and if anyone thinks of anything else that
might be relevant, please pass them on to me.

John Powers
Faculty of Asian Studies
Australian National University

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