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India and Civilizational Futures: Backwaters Collective on Metaphysics and Politics II


This second volume based on the deliberations of the Backwaters Collective puts into serious question the most familiar categories that have informed humanistic inquiry and social science research until now. The contributors probe how the intellectual and cultural resources of Indic civilization might be deployed to introduce greater plurality into the world of modern knowledge systems and reinitiate metaphysics into the discourses of politics, with the hope that similar inquiries will in future be extended across the Global South. The chapters offer newer perspectives on India’s past and intellectual traditions and suggest how we might liberate ourselves from the straightjackets of history, development, normal politics, the nation-state, and what globally passes for ‘common sense’ in various spheres of life and thought. While some contributors engage with a few figures who have been critical in shaping India’s intellectual life, such as Kabir, Narayana Guru, Ambedkar, Tagore, and Gandhi, others bring into the limelight equally compelling if somewhat neglected figures such as Rahul Sankrityayan, Ranade, and T.R.V. Murti. Conceptual papers on intercommunality, South Asian ideas of hospitality, and mnemocultural modes of learning complete the volume.   

Contents: 1. India and the Challenge of the Global South: Some Thoughts on Pluralism, the Categories of Knowledge, and Hospitality/Vinay Lal. 2. Learning and Happiness: Sketches for an Alternative Theorization of Indian Sociality/Vivek Dhareshwar. 3. Another Cosmopolis: Living with Radical Diversities and Being One’s Own Self/Ashis Nandy. Backwater Ecstasis: Truth, Destiny, and the Co-Existential Analytic/Roby Rajan. 4. Darsana as Theoria : Locations and Ends of Mnemopraxial Learning/D. Venkat Rao. 5. History and Allegory: Affi nities between the Puranas and Kabir/Milind Wakankar. 6. Rahul Sankrityayan and Ambedkar as Contrapuntal Contemporaries: Unpacking Their ‘Metaphysics and Politics’/Maya Joshi. 7. M.G. Ranade and Bhakti as a New Grammar for Indian Political Life/Aparna Devare. 8. The Transformative Power of the One World Vision of Sri Narayana Guru/George Thadathil. 9. Sree Narayana Iconography: Its Transformation and Impact on Society and Politics/Sujit Sivanand.  

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Bibliographic information

Title India and Civilizational Futures: Backwaters Collective on Metaphysics and Politics II
Format Hardcover
Date published: 03.08.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780199499069
length 336p.