Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism in India

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9780813533582: Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism in India

The leading voices in science studies have argued that modern science reflects dominant social interests of Western society. Following this logic, postmodern scholars have urged postcolonial societies to develop their own “alternative sciences” as a step towards “mental decolonization”. These ideas have found a warm welcome among Hindu nationalists who came to power in India in the early 1990s. In this passionate and highly original study, Indian-born author Meera Nanda reveals how these well-meaning but ultimately misguided ideas are enabling Hindu ideologues to propagate religious myths in the guise of science and secularism.

At the heart of Hindu supremacist ideology, Nanda argues, lies a postmodernist assumption: that each society has its own norms of reasonableness, logic, rules of evidence, and conception of truth, and that there is no non-arbitrary, culture-independent way to choose among these alternatives. What is being celebrated as “difference” by postmodernists, however, has more often than not been the source of mental bondage and authoritarianism in non-Western cultures. The “Vedic sciences” currently endorsed in Indian schools, colleges, and the mass media promotes the same elements of orthodox Hinduism that have for centuries deprived the vast majority of Indian people of their full humanity.

By denouncing science and secularization, the left was unwittingly contributing to what Nanda calls “reactionary modernism.” In contrast, Nanda points to the Dalit, or untouchable, movement as a true example of an “alternative science” that has embraced reason and modern science to challenge traditional notions of hierarchy.

 

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About the Author:

Meera Nanda is the author of Breaking the Spell of Dharma and Other Essays and Planting the Future: A Resource Guide to Sustainable Agriculture in the Third World.

Review:

"Meera Nanda is a unique scholar. She combines valuable criticisms of postmodern science studies with a close reading of how these ideas influence actual political developments in India. An appealing and powerful read."

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Descrizione libro Rutgers University Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The leading voices in science studies have argued that modern science reflects dominant social interests of Western society. Following this logic, postmodern scholars have urged postcolonial societies to develop their own alternative sciences as a step towards mental decolonization . These ideas have found a warm welcome among Hindu nationalists who came to power in India in the early 1990s. In this passionate and highly original study, Indian-born author Meera Nanda reveals how these well-meaning but ultimately misguided ideas are enabling Hindu ideologues to propagate religious myths in the guise of science and secularism.At the heart of Hindu supremacist ideology, Nanda argues, lies a postmodernist assumption: that each society has its own norms of reasonableness, logic, rules of evidence, and conception of truth, and that there is no non-arbitrary, culture-independent way to choose among these alternatives. What is being celebrated as difference by postmodernists, however, has more often than not been the source of mental bondage and authoritarianism in non-Western cultures. The Vedic sciences currently endorsed in Indian schools, colleges, and the mass media promotes the same elements of orthodox Hinduism that have for centuries deprived the vast majority of Indian people of their full humanity. By denouncing science and secularization, the left was unwittingly contributing to what Nanda calls reactionary modernism. In contrast, Nanda points to the Dalit, or untouchable, movement as a true example of an alternative science that has embraced reason and modern science to challenge traditional notions of hierarchy. Codice libro della libreria AAN9780813533582

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Descrizione libro Rutgers University Press, United States, 2004. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The leading voices in science studies have argued that modern science reflects dominant social interests of Western society. Following this logic, postmodern scholars have urged postcolonial societies to develop their own alternative sciences as a step towards mental decolonization . These ideas have found a warm welcome among Hindu nationalists who came to power in India in the early 1990s. In this passionate and highly original study, Indian-born author Meera Nanda reveals how these well-meaning but ultimately misguided ideas are enabling Hindu ideologues to propagate religious myths in the guise of science and secularism.At the heart of Hindu supremacist ideology, Nanda argues, lies a postmodernist assumption: that each society has its own norms of reasonableness, logic, rules of evidence, and conception of truth, and that there is no non-arbitrary, culture-independent way to choose among these alternatives. What is being celebrated as difference by postmodernists, however, has more often than not been the source of mental bondage and authoritarianism in non-Western cultures. The Vedic sciences currently endorsed in Indian schools, colleges, and the mass media promotes the same elements of orthodox Hinduism that have for centuries deprived the vast majority of Indian people of their full humanity. By denouncing science and secularization, the left was unwittingly contributing to what Nanda calls reactionary modernism. In contrast, Nanda points to the Dalit, or untouchable, movement as a true example of an alternative science that has embraced reason and modern science to challenge traditional notions of hierarchy. Codice libro della libreria AAN9780813533582

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Descrizione libro Rutgers University Press. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 336 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 0.8in.Postcolonial societies have been urged to develop their own alternative sciences as a step towards mental decolonization. This title reveals how these well-meaning, but ultimately misguided, ideas are enabling Hindu ideologues to propagate religious myths in the guide of science and secularism. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780813533582

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