SacredSecular : Contemplative Cultural Critique book cover
1st Edition

Contemplative Cultural Critique

ISBN 9780415484480
Published March 24, 2009 by Routledge India
236 Pages

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Book Description

What would it mean to conceive of the sacred as a source of knowledge that is as vital as the secular? What insights does a contemplative approach yield in analysing neoliberal globalisation or Hindu fundamentalism? Is a dew drop sacred, or is it secular?

In today’s charged atmosphere many believe that the sacred is best kept firmly apart from the realm of the secular. SacredSecular: Contemplative Cultural Critique offers a contrasting view. It argues that the two are indivisible and can productively interweave in illuminating key contemporary issues. Essays investigate the quotidian (trash, cut flowers), the philosophical (advaita, karma), the economic (work, globalisation) and the political (war, violence). Mani invites us to rethink the prevailing view that secularism is the only progressive response to religious authoritarianism. SacredSecular proposes a conceptual approach in which body, mind, heart, nature, matter and spirit are not merely equals, but equally crucial to crafting an inclusive vision and practice.

This book addresses several audiences: scholars of contemporary Indian society and culture, spiritual practitioners striving to integrate their practice with their politics, and all those interested in contemplating the present and what it portends for our collective future.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements.  Introduction  1. Faith Amidst the Destruction of Truth  2. Walking Meditation  3. Trash  4. Nameless Transaction  5. Visit to the Temple  6. Time  7. Globalisation: A Note of Caution  8. Work  9. Tradition and the New Spirituality  10. The Anatomy of Faith  11. Reckoning with Gujarat, Contemplating Tradition  12. Karma Reconsidered  13. Fading Blossoms  14. Western Advaita  15. Is a Dewdrop Sacred, or is it Secular?  16. Confronting Violence: Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide  17. Practicing Peace  18. Justice and the End of Suffering: Secular Activism and Spiritual Practice  19. 2004 AD: Are We Feeling Global Yet?  20. The Miasma of Globalisation  21. The Web of Life  22. Neoliberal Fictions, Neocolonial Facts  23. Body Politic(s)  24. Epilogue: The Tantra of Contemplative  25. Cultural Critique  26. Closing Invocation Glossary About the Author

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Formerly Professor, Women’s Studies Program, University of California, Davis. Currently independent researcher based in Bangalore