Debating Vivekananda: A Reader

Debating Vivekananda: A Reader

by A. Raghuramaraju (Editor)


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By conferring titles such as Swami, Yogi, Mahatma, Maharshi, Gurudev or Baba, the Indian society has transformed several writers and thinkers of modern India into icons. It is not surprising therefore that a profusion of hagiographic and emotional writings exist on the renowned nineteenth-century philosopher Swami Vivekananda and hence the pressing need to look at him in the light of debates in academic writings in order to enrich the liberal academic space.

Debating Vivekananda juxtaposes an array of contrasting views that examine the life, thoughts, and works of Vivekananda from various, and often opposing, vantage points. Was he 'the resounding voice of a new and confident India' or merely a 'whimper of the wounded pride of a subject people'? The various essays, in this volume critically examine the extent of his influence, the source of his thoughts, his relationship with Ramakrishna Paramhansa, and his views on women, science, and communalism.

The book thus serves as a platform for a debate to unfold-a debate that is informed by logical arguments instead of the creation of personality myths. The different perspectives allow one to engage with and at the same time rigorously assess the ideas of a modern writer-thinker.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199450688
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/27/2015
Pages: 528
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

A. Raghuramaraju, Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Hyderabad

A. Raghuramaraju is Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Hyderabad. He has published widely in the areas of social and political philosophy and Indian philosophy. University Grants Commission recently appointed him as Principal Investigator for e-content development for Philosophy for its e-PG Pathshala.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi
1 Swami Vivekananda 3
Brajendranath Seal
2 Swami Vivekananda 9
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
3 Swami Vivekananda 11
Jawaharlal Nehru
4 The Political and Social Dimensions of Vivekananda's Ideology 18
Prabha Dixit
5 Schopenhauer and Hindu Ethics 47
Paul Hacker
6 Practical Vedanta 96
Wilhelm Halbfass
7 Religious Evolution and Social Change in India: A Study of the Ramakrishna Mission Movement 114
Krishna Prakash Gupta
viii Contents
8 Kaliyuga, Chakri and Bhakti: Ramakrishna and His Times 149
Sumit Sarkar
9 Vivekananda and Ramakrsna Face to Face: An Essay on the Alterity of a Saint 232
Carl Olson
10 Swami Vivekananda: A Case Study of the Hindu Religious Tradition and the Modern Secular Ideal 263
Krishna Prakash Gupta
11 Vivekananda and Secularism: A Nineteenth Century Solution and a Twentieth Century Problem 291
Ashis Nandy
12 Vivekananda and Secularism 296
Nirmal Mukherjee
13 A Response 302
Krishna Prakash Gupta
14 Swami Vivekananda and the Challenge to Fundamentalism 309
Nemai Sadhan Bose
15 Swami Vivekananda 330
Jyotirmaya Sharma
16 Spiritual Masculinity and Swami Vivekananda 383
Indira Chowdhury
Contents ix
17 The Metaphysics of Ethical Love: Comparing Practical Vedanta and Feminist Ethics 417
Vrinda Dalmiya
18 Yoga Sutra IV, 2-3 and Vivekananda's Interpretation of Evolution 441
D. H. Killingley
19 Swm? Vivekananda's Use of Science as an Analogy for the Attainment of Moksa 474
Anantanand Rambachan
About the Editor and Contributors 491

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