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Hinduism - Defining Hinduism, Historical Overview, Sacred Texts And Sects, Principal Beliefs, Bibliography

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Hinduism, the religion of nearly one billion people mostly of South Asian provenance or descent, is notoriously difficult to define or even to describe with accuracy and comprehensiveness. Like all complex and ancient religious traditions, it is problematic to speak about Hinduism as if it were one monolithic religion rather than merely a label for many different traditions. The conglomeration of religious traditions sheltered under this umbrella incorporates a bewildering array of texts, beliefs, practices, and sects—so disparate a collection that some modern scholars have questioned the legitimacy of artificially unifying them. According to these scholars, one cannot really speak about a single Hinduism but at best only a variety of Hinduisms.

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