Hindu encyclopedia done after 25 years

A comprehensive encyclopedia of one of the world’s major religions is set to be unveiled next week in South Carolina. The 11-volume work covers Hindu spiritual beliefs, practices and philosophy, and is the culmination of a 25-year academic effort.

The encyclopedia is written in English and includes about 7,000 articles on Hinduism and its practices. The work also deals with Indian history, languages, art, music, dance, architecture, medicine and women’s issues.

The first volumes arrived at the University of South Carolina on Wednesday. They are to be donated to the university’s library system.

USC Professor Hal French is associate editor of the “Encyclopedia of Hinduism” and says the goal was to have a definitive work. He calls the effort a milestone of research that brought Eastern and Western scholarship together.