Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India

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9780199812622: Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India
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India is frequently represented as the quintessential land of religion. Johannes Quack challenges this representation through an examination of the contemporary Indian rationalist movement, which affirms the values and attitudes of atheism, humanism, or free-thinking. Quack shows the rationalists' emphasis on maintaining links to atheism and materialism in ancient India and outlines their strong ties to the intellectual currents of modern European history. At the heart of Disenchanting India lies an ethnographic study of the organization "Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti" (Organization for the Eradication of Superstition), based in the Indian State of Maharashtra. Quack gives a nuanced account of the rationalists' specific "mode of unbelief," describing their efforts to encourage a scientific temper and combat beliefs and practices they regard as "superstitious". Quack also shows the role played by rationalism in their day-to-day lives, as well as the organization's controversial position within Indian society. Disenchanting Indiaprovides crucial insights into the nature of rationalism in the intellectual life and cultural politics of India.

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About the Author:


Johannes Quack studied Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Anthropology at the Universities of Bayreuth, Edinburgh, and Heidelberg. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia & Europe," Heidelberg University and is currently research fellow at McGill University, Montreal.

Review:


"Johannes Quack has ventured into new territory in his close study of the Indian rationalist movement, particularly its manifestations in early twenty-first century Maharashtra. He has combined ethnographic analysis, social theory, and a deep knowledge of Indian history with reflections on secularism, religious belief, rationality, enchantment, and disenchantment. The result is a vivid depiction of India in the throes of modernity, in which class, gender, nationalism, and ideological and discursive strategies are contesting for the very future of India. This excellent volume must be examined by anyone interested in modern and contemporary India because it addresses in a most illuminating way a desperately understudied topic."--Frederick M. Smith, Professor of Sanskrit and Classical Indian Religions, University of Iowa


"The book is a rich source of information...It provides the reader with food for thought on complex questions...The narrative is engaging and full of ethnographic detail about personal dilemmas, doctrinal conicts, and rationalist performances. Disenchanting India is a major contribution to and entry point for the study of complex and long-standing problems of Indian society."--H-Net Reviews


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. India is frequently represented as the quintessential land of religion. Johannes Quack challenges this representation through an examination of the contemporary Indian rationalist organizations: groups who affirm the values and attitudes of atheism, humanism, or free-thinking. Quack shows the rationalists emphasis on maintaining links to atheism and materialism in ancient India and outlines their strong ties to the intellectual currents of modern European history. At the heart of Disenchanting India is an ethnographic study of the organization Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (Organization for the Eradication of Superstition), based in the Indian State of Maharashtra. Quack gives a nuanced account of the Organization s specific mode of unbelief. He describes the group s efforts to encourage a scientific temper and to combat beliefs and practices that it regards as superstitious. Quack also shows the role played by rationalism in the day-to-day lives of the Organization s members, as well as the Organization s controversial position within Indian society. Disenchanting India contributes crucial insight into the nature of rationalism in the intellectual life and cultural politics of India. Seller Inventory # AAV9780199812622

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.India is frequently represented as the quintessential land of religion. Johannes Quack challenges this representation through an examination of the contemporary Indian rationalist organizations: groups who affirm the values and attitudes of atheism, humanism, or free-thinking. Quack shows the rationalists emphasis on maintaining links to atheism and materialism in ancient India and outlines their strong ties to the intellectual currents of modern European history. At the heart of Disenchanting India is an ethnographic study of the organization Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (Organization for the Eradication of Superstition), based in the Indian State of Maharashtra. Quack gives a nuanced account of the Organization s specific mode of unbelief. He describes the group s efforts to encourage a scientific temper and to combat beliefs and practices that it regards as superstitious. Quack also shows the role played by rationalism in the day-to-day lives of the Organization s members, as well as the Organization s controversial position within Indian society. Disenchanting India contributes crucial insight into the nature of rationalism in the intellectual life and cultural politics of India. Seller Inventory # AAV9780199812622

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