A Review of Invading the Sacred: Understanding and Misunderstanding Hindu Tradition
By Krishna Kirti Das and Gaura Keshava Das.
Abstract: The recent book Invading the Sacred (Ramaswamy, de Nicolas, Banerjee 2007) presents a collection of essays that highlights anti-Hindu bias in the scholarship of Western academics associated with the American Academy of Religions (AAR) and its branch known as RISA (Religions in South Asia). Invading the Sacred documents well the excesses of a number of well-known American Indologists. Willfully mistranslated passages, shoddy scholarship, and anti-Hindu bias are similarly documented. This review itself not only highlights key sections and points in the book, it also critiques some of the ideas presented therein and offers alternative approaches to the problems highlighted by the book's contributors. This review also focuses on the book's significance as a new milestone in how Hindus explain Hinduism to outsiders and the new direction Hindus are taking in understanding themselves as Hindus.
(The original book can be found at http://invadingthesacred.com)