Essays in the History of Religions
This important volume brings together selected essays in the history of religions, written over a twenty-year period. The essays are organized under three categories which represent the main areas in which the author has conducted his research. Essays dealing with methodological issues provide the context for an examination of the relationship between religion and law in modern India and Indian religious movements in the U.S. Utilizing the definition of religion as «ultimate concern», Professor Baird is able to offer significant insights into the conflict of values at the boundary between traditional Indian religions and The Constitution of India as well as analyze aspects of Vaisnava theology and its institutionalization in the U.S.
"Robert Baird's reputation as an astute methodologist and historian of religion in India has been recognized for many years. This welcome collection brings together valuable essays which illustrate the perceptive, analytical mind of the methodologist and historian behind the now classic 'religio-historical' method established in 'Category Formation and the History of Religions'." (Robert N. Minor, The University of Kansas) "...all topics treated in this collection will be engaging to scholars interested in general methodological issues in the history of religious and informative to those concerned with specific matters in Indian religious traditions." (Hillary Rodrigues, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion)
The Author: Robert D. Baird is Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Iowa (U.S.A.) from which institution he also received his Ph.D. During 1988-1989, he held the Leonard S. Florsheim Sr. Eminent Scholars Chair at New College. In addition to numerous articles in professional journals, he is the author or editor of Category Formation and the History of Religions, Indian and Far Eastern Religious Traditions (with Alfred Bloom), Methodological Issues in Religious Studies, and Religion in Modern India. He has travelled widely in Asia and has conducted fieldwork in India on three separate occasions.