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Indian Philosophy in EnglishFrom Renaissance to Independence$
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Nalini Bhushan and Jay L. Garfield

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199769261

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199769261.001.0001

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Pandits and Professors

Pandits and Professors

The Renaissance of Secular India*

(p.3) 1 Pandits and Professors
Indian Philosophy in English

Nalini Bhushan

Jay L. Garfield

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the contribution of Indian philosophy to the so-called “gift of the secular” in India under the British Raj. More specifically, it looks at a set of strategies adopted by Indian intellectuals in a range of disciplines—including the social sciences, visual arts, poetics, philosophy, politics, and religion—that gave rise to a rich and enduring form of secular modernity in India. The chapter first considers the context within which philosophy was pursued during the colonial period before turning to a discussion of methodological pluralism and pluralistic secularism that characterized Indian philosophy under British rule. It then explores Rabindranath Tagore's poetics, along with Indian visual arts and art criticism. After highlighting the diverse strands of the progressive secularization of classical Indian culture in the context of Indian engagement with modernity during the colonial period, the chapter explains how professional Indian philosophers brought the philosophical ideas that emerge from ancient Indian religious traditions into a secular space in the university.

Keywords:   intellectuals, Indian philosophy, gift of the secular, India, British Raj, modernity, secularism, Rabindranath Tagore, poetics, visual arts

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