Phil Graham on Fri, 14 Dec 2001 22:51:23 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Understanding Sarkar


UNDERSTANDING SARKAR
The Indian Episteme, Macrohistory and Transformative Knowledge

Sohail Inayatullah
(Leiden, Brill,  December 2001)
http://www.brill.nl/catalogue/productinfo.asp?product=10103

ISBN 9004-121935, Price: EUR 42 - US$ 49, www.brill.nl

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Summary

Sohail Inayatullah takes us on a journey through Indian philosophy, grand
theory and macrohistory. We understand and appreciate Indian cyclical and
spiral theories of history, and their epistemological context. From other
civilizations, we explore the stages and mechanisms of social change as
developed by seminal thinkers such as Ssu-Ma Ch'ien, Ibn Khaldun,
Giambattista Vico, George Wilhelm Friedrick Hegel, Oswald Spengler, Pitirim
Sorokin, Michel Foucault and many others. They are invited to a
multi-civilizational dialog on the nature of agency and structure, and the
escape ways from the patterns of history.

But the journey is centered on P.R. Sarkar, the controversial Indian
philosopher, guru and activist. While Sarkar passed away in 1990, his work,
his social movements, his vision of the future remains ever alive.
Inayatullah brings us closer to the heart and head of this giant luminary.
Through Understanding Sarkar, we gain insight into Indian philosophy,
comparative social theory, and the ways in which knowledge can transform
and liberate.

	

Comments on Understanding Sarkar

The next generation of South Asians will consider themselves fortunate that
scholars like Sohail Inayatullah have helped to keep open a humane and
plural vision of the future for them.

Dr. Ashis Nandy, Director, Center of the Study of Developing Societies,
Delhi. Author of The Intimate Enemy and Traditions, Tyranny and Utopias.


Deeply inspiring and provocative. The Sarkar-Inayatullah combination makes
very good reading indeed. Inayatullah introduces the fascinating world - in
time, in space, and in social space - of P.R. Sarkar.

Johan Galtung, Professor of Peace, Political Science and Sociology at the
Universities of Bern, Saarland, Hawaii and Witten-Herdecke, and author of
over seventy books on peace studies, futures studies, international
relations, Gandhi, and social theory.


Dr. Sohail Inayatullah is the leading example of a new generation of global
thinkers, actors and visionaries.  While firmly attached to and informed by
the culture into which he was born, and passionately and yet rationally
committed to facilitating the future of South Asia, Sohail Inayatullah is
also a global  - it is not too much to say, cosmic - figure as well,
carrying in his very person the tensions and hopes of a future which is at
the same time both local and global.

James Dator, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Hawaii
Research Center for Futures Studies, University of Hawaii.
Secretary-General and President of the World Futures Studies Federation,
1982-1990.

In addition to the service he is rendering by bringing to a wider audience
the thoughts of a very important thinker, Sohail Inayatullah provides an
extraordinary contribution to social theory with an unusual combination of
analytic rigor and boundary challenging imagination.

Professor Michael Shapiro, University of Hawaii is the author of numerous
books on political and social  theory including, Reading the Postmodern
Polity, Reading 'Adam Smith', Violent Cartographies and Cinematic Political
Thought, For Moral Ambiguity: National Culture and the Politics of the
Family  2001.

In this scholarly and inspiring work, Sohail Inayatullah brings to life the
contributions of the remarkable Indian visionary, theorist, and social
activist Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar. Skillfully blending his understanding of
both Eastern and Western scholarly traditions, Inayatullah looks at history
from a non-eurocentric perspective that also takes into account the
thinking of some of the best known Western macrohistorians.  This book is
not only highly instructive; it also never loses sight of what Sarkar
called neo-humanism - the consciousness that we are part of an
interconnected whole and that a good society is one that manages to
represent harmoniously the spiritual needs of its individuals.

Riane Eisler,author of The Chalice & The Blade, Sacred Pleasure, and
Tomorrow's Children.


Sarkar's writings on historical processes offer a refreshing alternative to
the orthodox interpretations of Toynbee, Hegel and Marx.  He makes Samuel
Huntington's Clash of Civilizations seem parochial in comparison.  Dr.
Inayatullah skillfully weaves Sarkar's comprehensive overview of cultural
life-cycles into a coherent whole, through which the full sweep and scope
of the fundamental forces that shape history can be rendered.  Despite the
magnitude of the canvas upon he paints, his is a work of systematic and
focused scholarship.  This book should be required reading for anyone
looking to understand macrotheories of social change from an
non-eurocentric, holistic, and synergistic perspective.

Dr. Tim Dolan

Associate Professor of Political Science at Southern Oregon University ands
Director of the Master in Management Program.

Sohail Inayatullah is the world's leading scholar of Sarkar's thought. His
latest book, Understanding Sarkar, is sweeping in scope - quite literally a
  philosophical tour de force. By contrasting Sarkar's ideas to some of the
greatest minds in human history, Inayatullah has achieved a remarkable
philosophical integration that is both breathtaking in its vision and
relevant in its possibilities for creating societal change. Indeed, if you
want a better grasp of Sarkar's comprehensive worldview, I can think of no
better source than Inayatullah.  Brilliant.

Roar Bjonnes, writer and former editor of Prout Journal and Common Future

Dr. Sohail Inayatullah's book offers an excellent entry point for those
wanting to explore the fascinating and challenging  ideas of P. R. Sarkar.
At the same time Understanding Sarkar provides those who have studied
Sarkar with wonderful new ways of seeing and connecting the vast expanses
of his works.  We owe much to Dr. Inayatullah for this splendid effort.

Craig Runde, Director of New Program Development, Eckerd College, St.
Petersburg, Florida

In a time when "global" is equalled with "western", Sohail Inayatullah
takes us through the door of Indian thinking to a world view that is global
in the true sense of the word. Going beyond naive Western idolization of
Asian philosophies and avoiding the pitfalls of dogmatic, sometimes
fanatic, adherence to tradition faith characteristic to many Eastern
mentalities Inayatullah examines P.R. Sarkar's world in pursuit of a
universality that is yet to be realized within the potential of human
civilization. Those, wishing freedom from culturally ingrained mental
habits, should consider this work as essential reading.

Dr. Partow Izadi, senior scientist in evolutionary futures, global
education and systems theory, University of Lapland, Finland.


This is a companion volume to Inayatullah and Galtung's masterly synthesis
of macrohistory and macrohistorians, that includes P R Sarkar.  Here the
practice as well as the theory of
Sarkar enters the grand sweep, enriching and legitimating the story.  Their
respective models have elements in common but few contain all Sarkar's
elements of spiritual practice, humanity, and humility - even if
potentially ferocious.  He lived, fought and spread his theory into a
movement.  Isolated perhaps from the writings of the other great minds,
Sarkar seems to have an uncanny understanding of the emerging insights of
genetics on our social behavior (evolutionary psychology or neo-Darwinism)
and of social construction

Alan Fricker, President, Sustainable Futures Trust, Wellington, New Zealand


Comments On Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar

Sarkar's theories deserve serious study and discussion  Objectively they
provide answers to all economic and social dilemmas  I owe my greatest
intellectual debt to P. R. Sarkar.

Dr. Ravi Batra, economist and best-selling author, Southern Methodist
University, Texas.


Sarkar is so much deeper and more imaginative than most  He is an
intellectual giant of our times.

Professor Johan Galtung, co-founder of International Peace Research
Association and author of seventy one books on epistemology, world
politics, Gandhi, civilization theory, macrohistory and peace studies.


P. R. Sarkar was one of the greatest modern philosophers of India.

Former President of India, Giani Zail Singh.


The Indian master P. R. Sarkar, who did more than thirty years of studies
and practical concrete work with the poor of India, is very important for
all who yearn for a liberation which starts from economics and opens to a
totality of personal and social human existence.

Leonardo Boff, Brazilian founder of Liberation Theology, author of more
than fifty books, recipient of a Doctorate Honoris Causa from Lunds
University in Sweden


P.R. Sarkar, in his own way, is more than the equal of the great historian
Arnold Toynbee. Sarkar not only illuminated the growth and inevitable
decline that comes from the "Acquisitive-Capitalist" stage in societal
evolution that has now deeply infected the West, but offers wise counsel on
what to do instead.

Oliver W. Markley, Professor of Human Sciences, University of Houston at
Clear Lake. Author of Changing Images of Mankind

Ordering Information:

  ISBN 9004-121935
Series ICSS-3
ISSN 1568-4474
Price: EUR 42 - US$ 49
www.brill.nl

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...........................................................................
Opinions expressed in this email are my own unless otherwise stated.
If you have received this in error, please ignore and delete it.
Phil Graham
Lecturer (Communication)
UQ Business School
www.uq.edu.au/~uqpgraha
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