Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

Get access Subject: Asian Studies

Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen (Editor-in-Chief), University of Bergen, and Helene Basu, University of Münster, Angelika Malinar, University of Zürich, Vasudha Narayanan, University of Florida (Associate Editors)

Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism presents the latest research on all the main aspects of the Hindu traditions. Its 438 essays are original work written by the world’s foremost scholars on Hinduism. The encyclopedia presents a balanced and even-handed view of Hinduism, recognizing the divergent perspectives and methods in the academic study of a religion that has ancient historical roots with many flourishing traditions today. Including all essays from the heralded printed edition, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism is now to be regularly updated with new articles and available in a fully searchable, dynamic digital format.


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United Kingdom

(5,190 words)

Author(s): Knott, Kim
Hindus first migrated to the United Kingdom in the 19th century, though it was post-World War II when they began to arrive in significant numbers. In the 21st century, however, the majority of UK Hindus are not migrants. They are second and third generation Hindus who were born in England (and in smaller numbers in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland) to migrant or twice-migrant parents originating from the Indian subcontinent, East Africa, or the Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago), but include th…
Date: 2019-01-30

United States

(6,953 words)

Author(s): Narayanan, Vasudha
The study of the Hindu traditions in the United States should include not only the history of the Hindus in the United States but also the ideas and practices of Hindu origin that are now distanced from it. While ideas and concepts of Hindu origin have been around in the United States since the early 19th century, the numbers of Hindus increased drastically only after 1965. This was the result of a change in immigration laws, making it easy for technically qualified workers to enter the country.…
Date: 2019-01-30

Untouchability

(3,294 words)

Author(s): Aktor, Mikael
In the more narrow sense, untouchability in a Hindu context is typically articulated as a need of purification after having been in physical contact with certain persons. Normally a bath is required in order to regain purity. An early example of such rules can be found in the Gautamadharmasūtra: When a man touches an outcaste [i.e. a grievous sinner], a Caṇḍāla [i.e. a person from an untouchable caste], a woman who has just given birth or is menstruating, a corpse, or someone who has touched any of these, he becomes purified by bathing with …
Date: 2019-01-30