An Introduction to Swaminarayan Hinduism
This book is a comprehensive study of a modern form of Hinduism that is growing in the place of its birth in the Indian state of Gujarat and among Indian immigrants in East Africa, Great Britain, and the United States. It is the most prominent form of transnational Hinduism because it creates networks that define and preserve ethnic and religious identity in the modern context of rapid mobility and communication. Founded by Swaminarayan (1781-1830), a religious reformer in a time of great social and political change in Gujarat, Swaminarayan Hinduism expounds a path of devotion to Swaminarayan as the final, perfect manifestation of God. Professor Williams provides a detailed introduction to the history, theology, discipline, and ritual of this important form of Hinduism.
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The beginnings of Swaminarayan Hinduism
Growth administration and schism
The structure of Swaminarayan theology
The sacred world
Dharma the disciplined life
The sacred thread transmission of tradition
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