New Books Network

Borayin Larios, “Embodying the Vedas: Traditional Vedic Schools of Contemporary Maharashtra” (De Gruyter, 2017)
Embodying the Vedas: Traditional Vedic Schools of Contemporary Maharashtra (De Gruyter, 2017; open access) probes the backbone of what makes Hinduism the world’s oldest living tradition: the unbroken chain of transmission of Vedic texts composed over 3,000 years ago, originating circa 1750-1200 BCE.  What does the process of that transmission look... Read More
Nathan McGovern, “The Snake and The Mongoose: The Emergence of Identity in Early Indian Religion” (Oxford UP, 2018)
The history of Indian religions in the centuries leading up to the common era has been characterized in the scholarship by two distinct overarching traditions: the Brahmans (associated with Vedic texts, caste, and Vedic rituals) and the renouncer (śramaṇa) movements we see in the Upanishads, and in Jainism and Buddhism.  Were... Read More
Prakash Shah, “Western Foundations of the Caste System” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
The Indian caste system is an ancient, pervasive institution of social organization within the subcontinent – or is it? Join me as I speak with Dr. Prakash Shah (Reader in Culture and Law at the Queen Mary University of London, UK) about his co-edited work, Western Foundations of the Caste System (Palgrave... Read More
Jeffery D. Long, “Perspectives on Reincarnation: Hindu, Christian, Scientific” (MDPI Books, 2019)
What happens after you die? The book brings together fascinating theological and religious studies perspectives on a controversial yet pervasive idea: reincarnation. An estimated 1 on 5 Americans subscribe to this belief, despite their religious background. Why is this? What are the philosophical, spiritual, pragmatic merits of subscribing to reincarnation? What... Read More
Gil Ben-Herut, “Śiva’s Saints: The Origins of Devotion in Kannada according to Harihara’s Ragaḷegaḷu” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Studies of Hindu saints tend to focus primarily on the saints themselves—their words, teachings, and practices—rather than tending to the often complex and complicated world of texts and traditions about those saints—which is how we have come to know them. Even when hagiographical writings are addressed, more often than not... Read More
Caleb Simmons, “Nine Nights of the Goddess: The Navaratri Festival in South Asia” (SUNY Press, 2018)
Nine Nights of the Goddess: The Navaratri Festival in South Asia (SUNY Press, 2018), edited by Caleb Simmons, Moumita Sen, and Hillary Peter Rodrigues, is a diverse collection of cutting-edge interdisciplinary essays looking at the most ubiquitous festival across the Hindu world: the nine-night autumnal celebration of the Great Goddess,... Read More
B.R. Ambedkar, “Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical Edition” (Verso, 2016)
Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical Edition, edited by S. Anand (Verso, 2016) and with an Introduction ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ by Arundhati Roy, is based on a speech by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who took up the anti-caste struggles for the Untouchables in India. S. Anand’s work with thoroughly researched annotations... Read More