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The Religions of India Handbooks on the History of Religions, Volume 1, Edited by Morris Jastrow   By: (1857-1932)

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First Page:

HANDBOOKS ON THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS

EDITED BY MORRIS JASTROW, JR., PH.D.

Professor of Semitic Languages in the University of Pennsylvania

VOLUME I

HANDBOOKS ON THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS

THE

RELIGIONS OF INDIA

BY

EDWARD WASHBURN HOPKINS

Ph.D. (LEIPSIC)

PROFESSOR OF SANSKRIT AND COMPARATIVE PHILOLOGY IN BRYN MAWR COLLEGE

"This holy mystery I declare unto you: There is nothing nobler than humanity."

THE MAH[=A]BH[=A]RATA.

LONDON

EDWARD ARNOLD

37 BEDFORD STREET, STRAND

PUBLISHER TO THE INDIA OFFICE

1896

(All rights reserved)

COPYRIGHT, 1895, BY

EDWARD WASHBURN HOPKINS

TO THE MEMORY OF

WILLIAM DWIGHT WHITNEY

THIS VOLUME

IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED

BY THE AUTHOR

PREFATORY NOTE

BY THE EDITOR.

The growing interest both in this country and abroad in the historical study of religions is one of the noticeable features in the intellectual phases of the past decades. The more general indications of this interest may be seen in such foundations as the Hibbert and Gifford Lectureships in England, and the recent organization of an American committee to arrange in various cities for lectures on the history of religions, in the establishment of a special department for the subject at the University of Paris, in the organization of the Musée Guimet at Paris, in the publication of a journal the Revue de l'Histoire des Religions under the auspices of this Museum, and in the creation of chairs at the Collège de France, at the Universities of Holland, and in this country at Cornell University and the University of Chicago,[1] with the prospect of others to follow in the near future. For the more special indications we must turn to the splendid labors of a large array of scholars toiling in the various departments of ancient culture India, Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, Palestine, Arabia, Phoenicia, China, Greece, and Rome with the result of securing a firm basis for the study of the religions flourishing in those countries a result due mainly to the discovery of fresh sources and to the increase of the latter brought about by exploration and incessant research. The detailed study of the facts of religion everywhere, both in primitive society and in advancing civilization, and the emphasis laid upon gathering and understanding these facts prior to making one's deductions, has succeeded in setting aside the speculations and generalizations that until the beginning of this century paraded under the name of "Philosophy of Religion."

Such has been the scholarly activity displayed and the fertility resulting, that it seems both desirable and timely to focus, as it were, the array of facts connected with the religions of the ancient world in such a manner that the summary resulting may serve as the point of departure for further investigations.

This has been the leading thought which has suggested the series of Handbooks on the History of Religions. The treatment of the religions included in the series differs from previous attempts in the aim to bring together the ascertained results of scholarship rather than to make an additional contribution, though the character of the scholars whose coöperation has beep secured justifies the hope that their productions will also mark an advance in the interpretation of the subject assigned to each. In accord with this general aim, mere discussion has been limited to a minimum, while the chief stress has been laid upon the clear and full presentation of the data connected with each religion.

A uniform plan has been drawn up by the editor for the order of treatment in the various volumes, by following which it is hoped that the continuous character of the series will be secured.

In this plan the needs of the general reader, as well as those of the student, for whom, in the first place, the series is designed, have been kept in view. After the introduction, which in the case of each volume is to be devoted to a setting forth of the sources and the method of study, a chapter follows on the land and the people, presenting those ethnographical and geographical considerations, together with a brief historical sketch of the people in question, so essential to an understanding of intellectual and religious life everywhere... Continue reading book >>




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