What is Vaishnavism according to academe?

Want to know what the Encyclopedia Brittanica says about Vaishnavism? I was surprised how thorough and accurate it turned out to be. Here’s what the 1999 version has to say on the subject: “Vaisnavism – also called VISHNUISM, or VISNUISM, Sanskrit VAISNAVISM, worship of the god Vishnu and of his incarnations, principally as Rama and as Krishna. It is one of the major forms of modern Hinduism – with Shaivism and Shaktism (Shaktism). A major characteristic of Vaishnavism is the strong part played by bhakti, or religious devotion. The ultimate goal of the devotee is to escape from the cycle of birth and death so as to enjoy the presence of Vishnu. This cannot be achieved without the grace of God. Vishnu is not only the end (upeya) but also the means (upaya). For his part, the devotee must cultivate the auxiliary disciplines of karman, the path of good works, and jnana, the way of spiritual knowledge…. The philosophical schools of Vaishnavism differ in their interpretation of the relationship between individual souls and God. The doc(trines of the most important schools are: (1) vishistadvaita (“qualified monism”), associated with the name of Ramanuja (11th century) and continued by the Shrivaisnava sect, prominent in South India; (2) dvaita (“dualism”), the principal exponent of which was Madhva (13th century), who taught that although the soul is dependent on God it is not an extension of God, that the soul and God are separate entities; (3) dvaitadvaita (“dualistic monism”), taught by Nimbarka (12th century), according to which the world of souls and matter is both different and not different from God; (4) shuddhadvaita (“pure monism”) of Vallabha, which explains the world without the doctrine of maya (illusion); (5) acintya-bhedabheda (“inconceivable duality and nonduality”), the doctrine of Caitanya, in which the relation between the world of souls and matter on the one hand and God on the other is not to be grasped by thought but is both different and nondifferent. In addition to these philosophical schools, each of which has its own sectarian following, Vaishnavism also includes a number of popular expressions of devotionalism, which were furthered in the late medieval period by the vernacular writings of Ramananda and his disciples and by vaishnava poets such as Tulsidas in the Hindi area, Mira Bai in Gujarat, and Namdev and Tukaram in the Maratha country.