Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Scripture (Hinduism)

  • Carl OlsonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_477-1

According to its history of usage, scripture is a term that implies a sacred text that is written. Scripture is a term of Western origin that can be traced to the Latin scriptura that is literally related to the act of writing, a method of preserving literature considered sacred or special by a community. Scripture shares in the religious life of a particular community within history, rendering scripture something human, historical, and social. Being grounded in the sociohistorical realm, scripture can encounter political machinations and power dynamics that help to shape it. Scripture can be conceived by a particular religious tradition as revealed by a deity or inspired by a higher power.

The Hindu tradition draws a distinction between śruti (that which is revealed) and smṛti(that which is heard). The former is inspired literature, whereas the latter is literature that has been transmitted from one generation to another by means of memory from authoritative humans. In some...

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Religious StudiesAllegheny CollegeMeadvilleUSA