[A Secular Age: Discerning the religious spirit of secular states in Asia posted by Richard Madsen
In his monumental book, A Secular Age, Charles Taylor distinguishes three meanings of secularism... Editor's note: This post draws from a draft chapter for the SSRC's forthcoming publication, Rethinking Secularism, co-edited by Mark Juergensmeyer, Craig Calhoun, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen. 1:02 PM]
[Re: Religious Nationalism and Transnationalism in a Global World by Mark Juergensmeyer by Angiras on Sun 30 Nov 2008 12:42 AM PST Profile Permanent Link The present situation in Pondicherry clearly reflects a much larger problem of which Juergensmeyer clarifies some important aspects. We should recall the Mother's statement that the Ashram "is a reduced image of life." (CWM 13:149)]
One tends to agree.
[It may be helpful to realize that the uproar in India against an American biography of Sri Aurobindo is in a certain sense an anti-globalization protest - as was, much more dramatically, an event such as the destruction of the World Trade Center. The WTC was targeted as a symbol of the global economic system. The Lives presents Sri Aurobindo in terms that are acceptable to the worldwide intellectual community, thus antagonizing those to whom cultural globalization is threatening. Strangely enough, the attack on The Lives of Sri Aurobindo really got under way when misleading, decontextualized extracts were sent to dozens of people on September 11, 2008.]
Generally, the sponsors of anti-globalization protests are leftists, but here, ironically, they are on the opposite side.
[The irony of seeing this as an anti-globalization movement is that Sri Aurobindo was one of the earliest and most far-seeing writers on globalization, though his work is as yet unknown to theorists in this field. His major work on globalization - focusing on its political aspect - is, of course, The Ideal of Human Unity, but this is also an important theme of his essays on Indian culture.]
Kant spoke of Federation of Free States over a century earlier, and many others after him. Bipin Chandra Pal too was a staunch votary.
[Perhaps more surprisingly, long-term processes of globalization, which have been under way for thousands of years, form much of the subject of his unfinished epic Ilion. Ilion deals with an early phase of what Huntington, borrowing a provocative phrase from Bernard Lewis, has more recently called "the clash of civilizations": Europe and Asia, met on their borders, clashed in the Troad.]
There was no Asia then, nor Europe; they are mere metaphors.
[This is the "cultural struggle" of which Sri Aurobindo wrote in "Is India Civilised?" There, without using the current term "globalization," he speaks of "a compelling physical oneness forced on us by scientific inventions and modern circumstances."]
It would be profitable to remember the concept of World Union vis-à-vis globalization. [TNM]