Hinduism: The One and the Many
1. The idea of “Hinduism”
a. Hindus = 80% of India’s 1 billion; 15% of the world’s population; emerging world power (economically and militarily); 815k US, 850k UK, 1033k S.Africa
b. “Hinduism” = religion of the
Hindus. So named by early incomers (esp.
Persians and Turks) –
2. The prominent role of the eyes in apprehending the sacred in Hinduism
b. Opening the eyes of God
c. Seeing as touching
3. How do we look at Hinduism?
a. Overwhelmingly visual; vast diversity of images. Multitude of aspects (arms, objects, number of gods, perspectives)
b. How to grasp underlying unity in
2. The “polytheistic imagination” (Eck)
a. The Hindu world is “radically polytheistic” Differs from traditions of the West this way.
b. Western monotheism: one God, book, Son, church
c. Hindu traditions stress diversity of all creation/ultimate unity at the same time
i. nama-rupa – many names and forms, one reality. God in everything
ii. many ways to the ultimate; many viewpoints
d. The One and the Many: Hindu monism