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Arvind Sharma has made immensely significant contributions in the fields of both comparative religion and the study of Hinduism through his methodology of “reciprocal illumination” and his prominent role in international conversations on women and religion, religion and human rights, freedom of religion, and religious tolerance and conflict. Aware of the power of religion and its negative valuation, especially post-September 11, he displays a deep commitment to fostering interreligious understanding, arguing for religion as an essential and positive partner in envisioning and actualizing human flourishing, upholding human dignity, and engaging in global ethical cooperation, and equally he demonstrates Hinduism’s potential contribution both to these endeavors and to moving the field of comparative studies beyond its Western, Christian, and colonialist origins and assumptions. This essay details these contributions and Sharma’s place as an interpreter of Hinduism for those inside and outside the tradition in our time.


This article was originally published in Hindu Studies in 2024.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.