The Oxford history of Hinduism--Hindu Law: a new history of Dharmasastra, ed. by Patrick Olivelle and Donald R. David, Jr.
Reprint: xx+551p., bib., ind., 24cm.
Oxford University Press
About the book:
Through pointed studies of important aspects and topics of dharma in Dharmasastra, this comprehensive collection shows that the history of Hinduism cannot be written without the history of Hindu law. Part one provides a concise overview of the literary genres in which Dharmasastra was written with attention to chronology and historical developments. This study divides the tradition into its two major historical periods--the origins and formation of the classical texts and the later genres of commentary and digest--in order to provide a thorough, but manageable overview of the textual bases of the tradition. Part two presents descriptive and historical studies of all the major substantive topics of Dharmasastra. Each chapter offers readers with direct knowledge of the debates, transformations, and fluctuating importance of each topic. Readers will also gain insight into the ethos or worldview of religious law in Hinduism, enabling them to get a feel for how dharma authors thought and why. Part three contains brief studies of the impact and reception of Dharmasastra in other South Asian cultural and textual traditions. Part four draws inspiration from critical terms in contemporary legal and religious studies to analyze Dharmasastra texts. Contributors offer interpretive views of Dharmasastra that start from hermeneutic and social concerns today.