Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History

Columbia University Press (2010)
Abstract
Some postcolonial theorists argue that the idea of a single system of belief known as "Hinduism" is a creation of nineteenth-century British imperialists. Andrew J. Nicholson introduces another perspective: although a unified Hindu identity is not as ancient as some Hindus claim, it has its roots in innovations within South Asian philosophy from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries. During this time, thinkers treated the philosophies of Vedanta, Samkhya, and Yoga, along with the worshippers of Visnu, Siva, and Sakti, as belonging to a single system of belief and practice. Instead of seeing such groups as separate and contradictory, they re-envisioned them as separate rivers leading to the ocean of Brahman, the ultimate reality. Drawing on the writings of philosophers from late medieval and early modern traditions, including Vijnanabhiksu, Madhava, and Madhusudana Sarasvati, Nicholson shows how influential thinkers portrayed Vedanta philosophy as the ultimate unifier of diverse belief systems. This project paved the way for the work of later Hindu reformers, such as Vivekananda, Radhakrishnan, and Gandhi, whose teachings promoted the notion that all world religions belong to a single spiritual unity. In his study, Nicholson also critiques the way in which Eurocentric concepts—like monism and dualism, idealism and realism, theism and atheism, and orthodoxy and heterodoxy—have come to dominate modern discourses on Indian philosophy.
Keywords Indian philosophy  Asian philosophy  Yoga  Vedanta  Hinduism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $24.61 new (51% off)   $25.00 used (50% off)   $45.00 direct from Amazon (10% off)    Amazon page
ISBN(s) 0231149867   9780231149860
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Shyam Ranganathan, Hindu Philosophy. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Ali Naqi Baqershahi (2008). Ultimate Reality in Indian Philosophical Systems. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 29:5-13.
    Shyam Ranganathan, Ramanuja. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Rajendra Prasad (2008). A Conceptual-Analytic Study of Classical Indian Philosophy of Morals. Jointly Published by Centre for Studies in Civilization and Concept Pub. Co. For the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy, and Culture.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-11-30

    Total downloads

    30 ( #49,068 of 1,089,048 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,722 of 1,089,048 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.