James Lochtefeld – The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Hinduism
A specialist in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Asian religions and philosophical traditions, Lochtefeld (religion, Carthage Coll.) offers a two-volume reference on every aspect of Hinduism and related areas of Indian culture and history. Written in a clear, straightforward style, the more than 2500 alphabetically arranged entries address readers not wholly familiar with Hindu belief and practice. The entries cover a wide range of subject areas, including beliefs, rituals, art, celebrations, sacred places, history, religious organizations, biographies (of holy persons, theoreticians, and religious leaders), and much more. They are typically about 200 words long, though some are as long as 1000 words. In a valuable cross-referencing system, boldface terms in the text of every entry refer readers to related entries. There are convenient subject-category listings in the introductory material, an exhaustive index in the back, and black-and-white pictures throughout. Also included are charts of relationships among deities, maps of sacred sites, tabulations, a pronunciation key for Hindi and Sanskrit terms, and useful diagrams to help systematize information. Finally, Lochtefeld also provides a select bibliography, comprising about 200 important works, almost all of which were published after 1950. Some scholarly multivolume encyclopedias are available on this topic, but most are not very recent. Lochtefeld’s is both accessible and substantial enough to serve the needs of students, scholars, and casual readers alike. A major achievement of scholarly research, organization, and analysis, this book is recommended for both public and academic reference collections.