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Ancient Banyan: An Inquiry into the Meaning of 'Hinduness'

Julius J. Lipner
Religious Studies
Vol. 32, No. 1 (Mar., 1996), pp. 109-126
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20019797
Page Count: 18
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Ancient Banyan: An Inquiry into the Meaning of 'Hinduness'
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Abstract

This paper suggests, against a comparative horizon and in broadly philosophical context, a fresh approach to the study of Hinduism. After indicating how religion in general and 'Hinduism' in particular are plural phenomena both internally and externally, the paper goes on to define a (if not, the) distinguishing property of Hinduness (or hindutā) in terms of an approach that is based on a re-centring system of equilibrating and interactive polarities called 'polycentrism'. This is described further as a calculated paradoxicality, which is articulated in the light of possible objections.

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