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Political Thought in Action

Political Thought in Action
The Bhagavad Gita and Modern India


C. A. Bayly, Mishka Sinha, Andrew Sartori, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Rochona Majumdar, Uday S. Mehta, Faisal Devji, Aishwary Kumar, Vinayak Chaturvedi, Shruti Kapila
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  • Date Published: March 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107033955

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About the Authors
  • The Bhagavad Gita's philosophical and political significance remains forever contemporary. In this volume a group of leading historians reflect on the significance of the Bhagavad Gita for political and ethical thinking in modern India and beyond. These essays contribute new perspectives to historical, contemporary and global political ideas. Violence and nonviolence, war, sacrifice, justice, fraternity and political community were constitutive of India's political modernity, and it was to these questions that Indian public figures turned their attention in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Oriented towards the future, these commentaries and interpretations of a text that locates war as the central problem of human life have detached the Gita from antiquity and made it foundational for India's modernity. The book would be of interest to academic researchers as well as general readers interested in South Asian history, Indian philosophy and religion.

    • Aims to revise perspectives on violence, war and sacrifice
    • Traces the conversion of the Gita into a travelling-text of 'spiritualism' both within and beyond the confines of India
    • Charts anew the power of ideas and text in making the modern world
    • Discusses radical reformulation of the political in relation to the ethical
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107033955
    • dimensions: 236 x 160 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    Introduction Shruti Kapila and Faisal Devji
    1. India, the Bhagavad Gita and the world C. A. Bayly
    2. The transnational Gita Mishka Sinha
    3. The transfiguration of duty in Aurobindo's Essays on the Gita Andrew Sartori
    4. Gandhi's Gita and politics as such Dipesh Chakrabarty and Rochona Majumdar
    5. Gandhi on democracy, politics and the ethics of everyday life Uday S. Mehta
    6. Morality in the shadow of politics Faisal Devji
    7. Ambedkar's inheritances Aishwary Kumar
    8. Rethinking knowledge with action: V. D. Savarkar, the Bhagavad Gita, and histories of warfare Vinayak Chaturvedi
    9. A history of violence Shruti Kapila

  • Editors

    Shruti Kapila, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
    Shruti Kapila is University Lecturer in History and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. She is the editor of An Intellectual History for India (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

    Faisal Devji, St Antony's College, Oxford
    Faisal Devji is Reader in Indian History and a Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford. Dr Devji is interested in the political thought of modern Islam as well as in the transformation of liberal categories and democratic practice in South Asia. He is the author of Landscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity (2005) and The Terrorist in Search of Humanity: Militant Islam and Global Politics (2009).


    C. A. Bayly, Mishka Sinha, Andrew Sartori, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Rochona Majumdar, Uday S. Mehta, Faisal Devji, Aishwary Kumar, Vinayak Chaturvedi, Shruti Kapila

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