Mind, Soul and Consciousness: Religion, Science and the Psy-Disciplines in Modern South Asia (With a Foreword by J.N. Mohanty), 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Mind, Soul and Consciousness

Religion, Science and the Psy-Disciplines in Modern South Asia (With a Foreword by J.N. Mohanty), 1st Edition

Edited by Soumen Mukherjee, Christopher Harding


130 pages

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Hardback: 9780367218485
pub: 2019-03-19
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This comprehensive volume explores histories and modern reworkings of the ideas of mind, soul and consciousness in South Asia.

It focuses on the burgeoning ‘psy-disciplines’ – psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy – and their links with religion, science, philosophy, and modern notions of the mystical and spiritual, not just in South Asia, but around the world. The authors explore the global flows of ideas that gathered pace during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including: the idea(s) of self within ‘Hindu modernities’; the history of relativity of consciousness in Jaina epistemology; Jungian critiques of Cartesian rationalism; Islamic reform vis-à-vis Sufi mysticism; and the re-examination and invocations of key strands of the fields of ‘Indian philosophy’ and the ‘psy-disciplines’ in modern India. Together these chapters stoke a critical engagement with existing conceptual boundaries and categories of mind, soul, consciousness, and body-mind relationship in modern Asian and European spiritual and intellectual traditions.

This book will interest scholars and students of cross-cultural philosophy, intellectual history, history of religion, religious studies, and history of the mind sciences. It was originally published as a special issue of the journal South Asian History and Culture.

Table of Contents


Jitendra Nath Mohanty

1. Mind, soul, and consciousness: religion, science, and the psy disciplines in modern South Asia

Christopher Harding

2. The science of the self (ātmavidyā): the reconfigurations of Vedāntic gnosis in Hindu modernities

Ankur Barua

3. Consciousness and relativity: anekāntavāda and its role in Jaina epistemology

Jeffery D. Long

4. Recovering wisdom of the ‘ancient rishis’: Girindrasekhar Bose, Indra Sen, and the psy-disciplines in modern India

Soumen Mukherjee

5. Self-reflection and projection in Jungian ‘spirituality’: Carl Gustav Jung’s encounter with India and his critique of Indian psy-sciences

Claudia Richter

6. Music, emotions and reform in South Asian Islam: perspectives from the eighteenth to the twentieth century

M. Sajjad Alam Rizvi


Soumen Mukherjee

About the Editors

Soumen Mukherjee teaches History at Presidency University, Kolkata, India. His research interests lie widely in the fields of socio-religious and intellectual history of modern South Asia. He has published in these fields and is the author of Ismailism and Islam in Modern South Asia: Community and Identity in the Age of Religious Internationals (2017).

Christopher Harding is Senior Lecturer in Asian History at the University of Edinburgh, UK. His published work includes Japan Story: In Search of a Nation (2018), Religion and Psychotherapy in Modern Japan (co-edited collection; 2014), and Religious Transformation in South Asia: The Meaning of Conversion in Colonial Punjab (2008).

About the Series

Routledge South Asian History and Culture Series

This books series offers a forum that will provide an integrated perspective on the field at large. It brings together research on South Asia in the humanities and social sciences, and provides scholars with a platform covering, but not restricted to, their particular fields of interest and specialization. Such an approach is critical to any expanding field of study, for the development of more informed and broader perspectives, and of more overarching theoretical conceptions.

The idea is to try to achieve a truly multidisciplinary forum for the study of South Asia under the aegis of which the established disciplines (e.g. history, politics, gender studies) and more recent fields (e.g. sport studies, sexuality studies) will enmesh with each other. A focus is also to make available to a broader readership new research on film, media, photography, medicine and the environment, which have to date remained more specialized fields of South Asian studies.

A significant concern for series is to focus across the whole of the region known as South Asia, and not simply on India, as most ‘South Asia' forums inevitably tend to do. The series is most conscious of this gap in South Asian studies and works to bring into focus more scholarship on and from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and other parts of South Asia.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Spiritualism
PHILOSOPHY / Mind & Body
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies