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Two Old Faiths Essays on the Religions of the Hindus and the Mohammedans   By: (1819-1905)

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Transcriber's Note:

The footnotes marked with lower case letters were originally sidenotes which referred to sentences within the paragraph. I placed them at the end of chapters to avoid confusion with the footnotes marked with numbers, which were footnotes in the original and are at the end of the text.

TWO OLD FAITHS

ESSAYS ON THE RELIGIONS OF THE HINDUS AND THE MOHAMMEDANS

BY

J. MURRAY MITCHELL, M.A., LL.D.

AND

SIR WILLIAM MUIR, LL.D., D.C.L.

NEW YORK CHAUTAUQUA PRESS C.L.S.C. Department, 150 Fifth Avenue 1891

The required books of the C.L.S.C. are recommended by a Council of Six. It must, however, be understood that recommendation does not involve an approval by the Council, or by any member of it, of every principle or doctrine contained in the book recommended.

These essays have been selected from the admirable series of Present Day Tracts , published by the Religious Tract Society, London, and are reprinted with permission.

CONTENTS.

THE HINDU RELIGION. PAGE

Outline of the Essay 7

Introduction 9

The Vedas 12

Philosophy, and Ritualism 31

Reconstruction Modern Hinduism 43

Contrast with Christianity 58

Hinduism in Contact with Christianity 68

THE RISE AND DECLINE OF ISLAM.

Outline of the Essay 83

Introduction 85

The Rapid Spread of Islam 87

Why the Spread of Islam was Stayed 125

Low Position of Islam in the Scale of Civilization 129

THE HINDU RELIGION.

OUTLINE OF THE ESSAY.

The place of Hinduism which is professed by about a hundred and ninety millions in India among the religions of the world, and its great antiquity, are pointed out.

The comparative simplicity of the system contained in the Vedas, the oldest sacred books of the Hindus, its almost entire freedom from the use of images, its gradual deterioration in the later hymns, its gradual multiplication of gods, the advance of sacerdotalism, and the increasing complexity of its religious rites are set forth.

The philosophical speculation that was carried on, the different philosophical schools, the Buddhist reaction, its conflict with Brahmanism, its final defeat, and its influence on the victorious system are discussed.

The religious reconstruction represented by the Puranas, their theological character, the modern ritual, the introduction and rise of caste, and the treatment of women are then considered.

A contrast is drawn between the leading characteristics of Hinduism and those of Christianity, and the effect of Christian ideas on modern Hinduism is exhibited. The history of the Brahmo Somaj under Keshub Chunder Sen is given at some length.

THE HINDU RELIGION.

INTRODUCTION.

[Sidenote: Hinduism deserving of study. Its antiquity.] The system of religious belief which is generally called Hinduism is, on many accounts, eminently deserving of study. If we desire to trace the history of the ancient religions of the widely extended Aryan or Indo European race, to which we ourselves belong, we shall find in the earlier writings of the Hindus an exhibition of it decidedly more archaic even than that which is presented in the Homeric poems. Then, the growth the historical development of Hinduism is not less worthy of attention than its earlier phases. It has endured for upward of three thousand years, no doubt undergoing very important changes, yet in many things retaining its original spirit. The progress of the system has not been lawless; and it is exceedingly instructive to note the development, and, if possible, explain it... Continue reading book >>




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