[Again the chapter on ancient China is a great example here. It is clear that one of Bellah’s goals is to use the case of ancient China to test his general theory of religion and cultural evolution. However, the China chapter is much more than that. Any reader will be impressed by Bellah’s genuine curiosity and fascination about the historical, social, and cultural details of ancient China, many of which are not necessarily relevant for the purpose of confirming Bellah’s general theories and theses. It seems that Bellah wants to tell the story of early China and its religions for its own sake, trying to do justice to its particularities and diversities. The same can be said about the chapters on the other axial civilizations. The generosity and breadth of Bellah’s empathy and curiosity in humanity is on full display on every page. One will never see human history and our contemporary world the same after reading Bellah’s magnificent book. The return of the grand narrative - The Immanent Frame by Yang Xiao on Dec 15, 2011 9:34 PM]
[Larval Subjects links to Levi R. Bryant's recent book The Democracy of Objects. I applaud Levi for providing us with the full text of his book. I've been reading Reiner Schürmann's lectures onBeing and Time, and quite like his approach of interpreting B&T in light of the later works. Unfortunately, the book's content is not available on Amazon or Google Books, and I haven't had the time to OCR the bits I want to share. I can't imagine anyone benefits from keeping the book closed off. (title unknown) - enowning on Dec 16, 2011 10:24 PM]
Westerners are a bit confused now as to how to deal with the extensive intellectual resources scattered over rest of the world. Clinging to Aristotle or Spinoza has been an one-eyed adventure, and now that economic compulsions force them to venture out, Asian knowledge systems pose a huge challenge. Sri Aurobindo's writings, in this context, constitute a great help.
Sri Aurobindo offers a safe filter for the massive extant literature in ancient languages. He also brings out their neglected inner meanings thus making them relevant to the needs of modern times. Finally, the integrality of his vision is so empowering that one is never intimidated by the unending western discourse. [TNM55]