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Knowledge and Human Liberation

Towards Planetary Realizations

Ananta Kumar Giri

Knowledge and Human Liberation

An exploration of the multidimensional struggle for modern human liberation, and an investigation of how social, spiritual and self-knowledge influence the journey towards this end.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9780857284525
February 2013 | 250 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6
PRICE:  £60.00  /  $99.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com

About This Book

“One of the conditions under which knowledge can be a force for liberation from narrow concerns and false dichotomies has to be knowledge’s own liberation. The issue then becomes how we can know what liberation might be. If anyone can at once pose and answer this question, it is Ananta Kumar Giri.” —Dame Marilyn Strathern, William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology (Emeritus), University of Cambridge

“Perspective taking with a deep knowledge of reality and an imaginary view of future is a major requirement of the ‘critical theory,’ and it can be met only in a work like this book, and by a scholar like its author.” —Tong Shijun, Director of the Institute of Philosophy, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

“This book is to be recommended to all who want to have a look beyond what is normally discussed in treaties on epistemology. It makes us think more deeply about our normative presuppositions, about new foundations of a critical theory and about the role of religion in our craft as social and political theorists.” —Klaus Eder, Professor of Sociology, Humboldt University, Berlin

Human liberation has become an epochal challenge in today’s world, requiring not only emancipation from oppressive structures but also from the oppressive self.  It is a multidimensional struggle and aspiration in which knowledge – self, social and spiritual – can play a transformative role. ‘Knowledge and Human Liberation: Towards Planetary Realizations’ undertakes such a journey of transformation, and seeks to rethink knowledge vis-à-vis the familiar themes of human interest, critical theory, enlightenment, ethnography, democracy, pluralism, rationality, secularism and cosmopolitanism. The volume also features a Foreword by John Clammer (United Nations University, Tokyo) and an Afterword by Fred Dallmayr (University of Notre Dame).

Readership: This book will benefit humanities and social sciences academics in fields such as sociology and anthropology, as well as activists and curious readers.

Author Information

Ananta Kumar Giri is an associate professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies in Chennai, India.

Table of Contents

Foreword: John Clammer; PART I. NURTURING THE GARDEN OF TRANSFORMATIONAL KNOWLEDGE: ROOTS AND VARIANTS; 1. Knowledge and Human Liberation: Jurgen Habermas, Sri Aurobindo and Beyond; 2. Beyond West and East: Co-Evolution and the Calling of a New Enlightenment and Non-Duality; 3. The Modern Prince and the Modern Sage: Transforming Power and Freedom; 4. Kant and Anthropology; 5. Tocqueville as an Ethnographer of American Prison Systems and Democratic Practice; PART II. RETHINKING KNOWLEDGE; 6. Some Recent Reconsiderations of Rationality; 7. Contemporary Challenges to the Idea of History; 8. Rule of Law and the Calling of ‘Dharma’; 9. Compassion and Confrontation: Dialogic Experiments with Traditions and Pathways to New Futures; 10. Rethinking Pluralism and Rights; 11. The Calling of a New Critical Theory: Self-Development, Inclusion of the Other and Planetary Realizations; PART III. ASPIRATIONS AND STRUGGLES FOR LIBERATION: TOWARDS PLANETARY REALIZATIONS; 12. Rethinking the Politics and Ethics of Consumption: Dialogues with ‘Swadeshi’ Movements and Gandhi; 13. ‘Swaraj’ as Blossoming: Compassion, Confrontation and a New Art of Integration; 14. Civil Society and the Calling of Self-Development; 15. The Calling of Practical Spirituality: Transformations in Science and Religion and New Dialogues on Self, Transcendence and Society; 16. Spiritual Cultivation for a Secular Society; 17. Cosmopolitanism and Beyond: Towards a Multiverse of Transformations; Afterword: Fred Dallmayr

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