This introduction to modern Indian thought establishes the historical context in which Indian thinkers of the past century developed their ideas, showing how those ideas comprise a coherent vision that is both Indian and contemporary. The Spirit of Modern India offers a full treatment of these ideas in an intelligible and concise approach and format.
Despite a growing interest in Indian thought and life, the best writings of major twentieth-century thinkers have not been well presented within their cultural framework. This is the first single volume to offer such a wide representation of India’s experience and scholarship through traditional and contemporary strains as articulated by her greatest modern thinkers. The period designated “modern” refers to the remarkable century between the mid-1800s and the mid-1900s.
The Spirit of Modern India includes writings by Sri Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Tagore, Gandhi, Nehru, Radhakrisnan, and Sri Aurobindo. These writings are arranged according to each era of Indian thought and culture—philosophy, religion, ethics, education, esthetics, and national vision. Each is introduced to illuminate the material and put the selections into their historical and cultural context.
A chronology lists important dates and works of major authors and dates related to Indian and Western intellectual history. A glossary of important names and terms makes the more technical selections readily accessible. The bibliography will guide the reader to further reading.
The Spirit of Modern India provides a valuable service to those who wish to better understand India and it modern roots.
Robert McDermott, Ph.D., is president emeritus and chair of the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). His publications include Radhakrishnan (1970); The Essential Aurobindo (1974, 1987); The Essential Steiner (1984); (with Rudolf Steiner) The Bhagavad Gita and the West (2009); and The New Essential Steiner (2009). He has also published on William James, Josiah Royce, M. K. Gandhi, the evolution of consciousness, and American thought. His administrative service includes president of the New York Center for Anthroposophy; president of the Rudolf Steiner [summer] Institute; chair of the board of Sunbridge College (New York) and of Rudolf Steiner College (California). He was a member of the council of the Anthroposophical Society in America (1996–2004). He is the founding chair of the board of the Sophia Project, an anthroposophic home in Oakland, California, for mothers and children at risk of homelessness. He is a Lindisfarne fellow, a Fetzer mentor, and a member of the Esalen Corportion.
- Vishwanath S. Naravane
, born in Allahabad, received his Ph.D. from Allahabad University and taught there for twenty years. In 1965, he was appointed professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy, Pune University. He has lectured in various countries and worked as a visiting professor at several colleges and universities in the U.S. In addition to philosophy and religion, Dr. Naravane taught courses in Indian history, art and literature.