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Religions in the modern world : traditions and by Woodhead, Linda

By Woodhead, Linda

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A look at the many texts of Hinduism is followed by a summary of Hinduism in terms of self and society, concluding with consideration of gender. Much of this traditional Hinduism is still alive today, but we move next into specifically modern times by inquiring into the special relation of modernity and India, noting also the traditional Hindu interpretation of modern times— the worst of times, the Kali age. The socio-economic condition of India today is then summarized. Modern Hinduism is discussed in terms of six aspects.

It is in one of these, the Markandeya Purana (c. 500 CE), that the ancient goddess worship first resurfaces, in the section called the Devimahatmya. Here the goddess (Devi/Durga/Kali) appears as the supreme deity. Most famous is the Bhagavata Purana (c. 900 CE), on which much Krishna worship is based. The rich mythology of the Puranas, itself of folk origin, is often omitted from formal presentations of their religion by Hindus, but nevertheless lives on, complemented by current folk and tribal mythology.

But India is strong in natural resources, has a well-educated middle class and the largest number of scientific workers of any nation. Many professionals go abroad but return to India bringing new skills with them. India is particularly strong in computer software personnel and companies. India remains open to all modern ideas, while preserving its rich cultural heritage. HINDUISM AND MODERN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY It is not the British people who rule India, but modern civiJization rules India through its railways, telegraph, telephone, etc.

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