Book: The Strides of Vishnu – Hindu Culture in Historical Perspective



Yet another book on Hinduism titled ‘The Strides of Vishnu – Hindu Culture in Historical Perspective’ by Ariel Glucklich, Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, provides a rich and compelling introduction to Hindu culture. The book, published by Oxford University Press, uses historical material to explore important religious, scientific, aesthetic and philosophical ideas of the Hindu world.

Each important and engaging viewpoint in the book is supported by substantial quotations from scriptures and other Hindu texts. Another highlight of the book is its focus on historical, cultural and archaeological aspects.

Apart from an engaging introduction, the book has twelve chapters:

1. The Dig and the Temple
2. Sacred Knowledge and Indian Origins
3. A City Where the Rivers Meet
4. King Janaka's Contest
5. Vedic Science: The Grammar of Reality
6. Kanishka and Krishna
7. Performing Arts and Sacred Models
8. The Second Rationality
9. Maps and Myths in the Matsya Purana
10. Shankara and Kumarila: Between Brahman and Dharma
11. Devotion and Knowledge
12. The Eternal Dharma

‘The Strides of Vishnu – Hindu Culture in Historical Perspective’ is mainly for those people who are alien to Hindu culture. The author himself claims that Hinduism is a convenient term that masks a plurality of traditions. This plurality of tradition is better known as Sanatana Dharma. And Sanatana Dharma is best understood through discussion and contemplation. And the right place to start the discussion is by reading Upanishads and Yoga Vasishta.

The Strides of Vishnu – Hindu Culture in Historical Perspective
By Ariel Glucklich
Published: Oxford University Press (US)
Price: $29.95