India is home to hundreds of different traditions and virtually all the religions of the contemporary world. The interaction and dialogue among them has produced highly creative cultural forms and ways of living together. Yet, increasingly, scholars have begun to feel that the current knowledge about the Indian culture and its traditions is unsatisfactory at best or erroneous at worst. In the current theoretical paradigm, Indian traditions are conceived of in terms of their respective beliefs, doctrines, holy texts, religious strife, etc. This does not appear to allow for an adequate understanding of the Indian traditions. Not only does this framework determine our understanding of the religions in India, but it also has consequences for the Indians, experiencing their own traditions.
In the domain of religious studies, in postcolonial studies and in the field of comparative science of cultures, scholars have begun to argue that the questions and conceptual framework for the study of India and its religions are firmly embedded within the Western cultural history, namely within the theological framework of Christianity. Therefore, the overall objective of Rethinking Religion in India is to interrogate the newly emerging attempts to study the religions and traditions of India differently.