New blog on Indian philosophy

There’s a new blog on Indian philosophy called, not surprisingly, The Indian Philosophy Blog. Some of the posts are technical, some of the posts are academic news. But some of the posts, and associated comments, are pretty interesting.

Take, for example, a post on Penguin India’s decision to recall and destroy all copies of Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History, in response to right-wing Hindu demands. But, says blogger Andrew Ollett, “India has long traditions of argumentation,” and he concludes that:

“The politics of outrage and offence, and the struggle to ban and silence competing viewpoints, are antithetical to this long tradition of reasoned debate. They impoverish public discourse and they endanger critique and the kind of truths that depend on critique.”

The comments get even more interesting. There’s a comment from someone in India, there’s discussion of the legacy of colonialism, and more.

Interesting stuff. Definitely a blog that I will be scanning on a regular basis.

2 thoughts on “New blog on Indian philosophy”

  1. This is fascinating! Conservative/Fundamentalist movements in the global South eg India, Africa and the Middle East both struggle against the colonialist legacy and adopt it in part. The Hindutva movement is certainly more nationalistic than any religious/cultural movement in South Asia before colonization. Likewise the anti-LGBTQ movements of Africa are both anti-colonial and introjections of Victorian British sentiments and morals. I do rather like models of cultural hybridity and cosmopolitanism as ways out of the right-wing trends in non-European/non-North American cultures. Where does it leave us as UUs? We search for an anti-racist/multicultural ideal but we are in essence that continuation of the religious socialism and individualism of 19th century England and the US. It’s a heavy mission for us to promote our values and principles and to court those from other cultures who subscribe to very different values and principles without seeming neo-colonialist.

  2. Roy, nice analysis of where we are as UUs right now. I’m with you on the possibilities of cultural hybridity. Some years ago, Kok Heong McNaughton of the Los Alamos UU congregation preached a sermon titled “Why I am a UU: An Asian Immigrant Perspective,” about why she was comfortable as a UU. Kok Heong wrote in part:

    “After that first service, I returned again and again. The more I found out about Unitarian Universalism, the more it fitted. I particularly appreciated the use of science and reason to explore and to determine for oneself what is the truth, what are myths, what to accept and what to reject in building one’s own unique theology. I didn’t have to take everything on blind, unquestioning faith. Another aspect of Unitarian Universalism that makes me feel special as an Asian American is the emphasis on cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. I didn’t have to check a part of me at the door and to pretend to be who I wasn’t. My ethnic differences were not only accepted, but they were affirmed and upheld. People were interested in what I had to share: I teach Taiji and Qigong, I taught Chinese cooking classes, I bring ethnic foods to our potlucks, I even share my language with those who were interested. I am often consulted about Taoist and Buddhist practices and readings, and asked if I thought the translations were accurate. My opinion mattered. This not only gives me pride in my culture, but it also encourages me to dig deeper into my own heritage, to find out more in areas where my knowledge and expertise are lacking. It helps me to look at my heritage with fresh eyes.”

    So at this point, this is the best model I have for escaping neo-colonialism as a UU.

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