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Lecture 1: Hinduism as a World Religion

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Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world and one of the oldest. It is about 12% of the world population and about 95% are in India. Hinduism is difficult to define. There is evidence of civilization in the Indus valley as early as 2800 BC. The sacred literature that is the basis for Hinduism was created and developed over hundreds of years. It was originally transmitted orally and was eventually written down.


I. Hinduism as a world religion

A. Numerical growth

B. Growth rate by percentage of the world population

C. Most unreached people groups

II. Hinduism Defined

A. Cultural definitions

B. Common source of authority

C. Shared belief system

D. Social practices

III. Historical Windows on Hinduism

A. Indus Valley civilization  (2800-1700 B.C.E)

B. Aryan Presence in India (1500 B.C. -1200 B.C.)

C. Vedic and Upanishadic Period (1200 B. C. - 400 B.C.)

D. Structure of sacred literature

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