The first edition of this volume was published in 1981. Ten of the original nineteen chapters were presented as papers at a conference on 'Religion in modern India' at the University of Iowa in 1980 organized by the editor. Wide acceptance of this work suggested the desirability of a second edition. That edition, published in 1989, dropped a couple of original essays and added chapters by N. Gerald Barrier on the Sikhs, Eric J. Sharpe on the Christians, and John R. Hinnells on the Parsis. When a third edition was suggested it presented an opportunity to add additional chapters by Harold G. Coward on the Buddhist revival, Nancy E. Falk on religion and the Indian women's movement, and Robert D. Baird on the thought of Swami Bhaktivedanta. In this fourth revised edition a new essay on Jainism by James F. Lewis has been added. Further more all contributors were offered an opportunity to make revisions in their original contributions. A number of these revisions were substantial.
Although this volume was initially written by scholars for scholars, it has become a popular text for courses in Indian religions and religion in modern India. The new chapters should help fill in some of the gaps in the original volume. Since 1981 there has been renewed interest in the study of modern India. We will continue to be satisfied if we are able to stimulate fresh thought and continued research on the subject.