The Hindu world is permeated by sound: drums, bells, gongs, cymbals, conches, flutes, and an array of vocalizations play a central role in worship. Guy Beck contends that the traditional Western focus on Hinduism’s visual component has often been at the expense of the religion’s most important featureﾗits emphasis on sound. In his new study Beck addresses this longstanding imbalance, contending that Hinduism is essentially a sonic theology.
Beck argues that sound participates at every level of the Hindu cosmos. Comparing the centrality of sound in Hindu theology to its place in other religions, Beck raises issues about sound and language that not only reshape our understanding of Hindu worship but also invite a fresh approach to comparative theology.