Indian Episteme, Macrohistory and Transformative Knowledge
Brill, December 2001)
ISBN 9004-121935, www.brill.nl
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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.
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
on Understanding Sarkar
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.
Ashis Nandy, Director, Center of the Study of Developing Societies,
Delhi. Author of The Intimate
Enemy and Traditions,
Tyranny and Utopias.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
writings on historical processes offer a refreshing alternative to
the orthodox interpretations of Toynbee, Hegal and Marx.
He makes Samuel Huntington's Clash Of Civilizations seem
parochial in comparison.
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
Professor of Political Science at Southern Oregon University ands
Director of the Master in Management Program.
On Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar
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.”
Ravi Batra, economist and best-selling author, Southern Methodist
is so much deeper and more imaginative than most … He is an
intellectual giant of our times.”
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
R. Sarkar was one of the greatest modern philosophers of India.”
President of India, Giani Zail Singh.
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
Boff, Brazilian founder of Liberation Theology, author of more than
fifty books, recipient of a Doctorate Honoris Causa from Lunds
University in Sweden
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.”
W. Markley, Professor of Human Sciences, University of Houston at
Clear Lake. Author of Changing Images of Mankind
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