The advent of Hindu Studies coincides with the emergence of modern hermeneutics. Despite this co-emergence and rich possibilities inherent in dialectical encounters between theories of modern and post-modern hermeneutics, and those of Hindu hermeneutical traditions, such an enterprise has not been widely endeavored. The aim of this volume is to initiate such an interface. Essays in this volume reflect one or more of the following categories: (1) Examination of challenges and possibilities inherent in applying Western hermeneutics to Hindu traditions. (2) Critiques of certain heuristics used, historically, to understand Hindu traditions. (3) Elicitation of new hermeneutical paradigms from Hindu thought, to develop cross-cultural or dialogical hermeneutics.Applications of interpretive methodologies conditioned by Western culture to classify Indian thought have had important impacts. Essays by Sharma, Bilimoria, Sugirtharajah, and Tilak examine these impacts, offering alternate interpretive models for understanding Hindu concepts in particular and the Indian religious context in general.Several essays offer original insights regarding potential applications of traditional Hindu philosophical principles to cross-cultural hermeneutics (Long, Bilimoria, Klostermaier, Adarkar, and Taneja). Others engage Hindu texts philosophically to elicit deeper interpretations (Phillips, and Rukmani). In presenting essays that are both critical and constructive, we seek to uncover intellectual space for creative dialectical engagement that, we hope, will catalyze a reciprocal hermeneutics.

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