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Localism in Hinduism Alain Daniélou’s description of the caste system in the light of conclusions in cognitive psychology and social science.

Chapter in book
Authors Carl Martin Allwood
Published in In Enstedt, D., Larsson, G., & Sardella, F. (Eds.), Religionens varp och Trasor/Warp and Rags of Religion: En Festskrift till Åke Sander
Pages 191-201
ISBN 978-91-88348-79-1
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 191-201
Language en
Keywords Hinduism, religionsvetenskap, kognitionsvetenskap, lokalism, Alain Daniéloul
Subject categories Applied Psychology


This contribution deals with localism as a feature of Hinduism. My starting point is the notion that Human knowledge and understanding develop locally and thereby are dependent on the locally pertaining conditions in the knowledge communities in question. After a short discussion of the heterogeneous nature of Hinduism as a tradition of thought, I describe and discuss examples of localism in Hinduism. Next, after an introduction of the French Hindu convert Alain Daniélou (1907–1994), as an extended illustration of localism in Hinduism, I describe his rendering of the Hindu caste system. Finally, some features of Daniélou’s rendering of the cast system are briefly related to some conclusions in cognitive psychology and the social sciences about effects of localism. By localism is meant tendencies to stress, assume, or, to be “captured” by the importance of the local and local conditions in one’s thinking and action.

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