About the Book:
The volumes of the PROJECT ON THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY AND CULTURE IN INDIAN CIVILIZATION aim at discovering the main aspects of India’s heritage and present them in an interrelated way. These volumes, in spite of their unitary look, recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The Project is not being executed by a single group of thinkers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their commitments. In fact, contributions are made by different scholars with different ideological persuasions and methodological approaches. The Project is marked by what may be called “methodological pluralism”. In spite of its primarily historical character, this Project, both in its conceptualization and execution, has been shaped by scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization like India.
Zoroastrianism: from Antiquity to the Modern Period is an interdisciplinary work in the study of Zoroastrianism from its birth around three and half millennia back in ancient Iran to contemporary times. It emphasizes the important role that it played in not only the formation of Iranian culture, but also emphasizes its role in the construction of the humanist idea of the dialogue of civilizations in the ancient world. Challenging the now fashionable theme of the “East”/“West” divide, as also the infamous theory of the “clash of civilizations”, this volume initiates the theme of unified world culture where Iran was the bridge between India in the East and Greece and Rome in the West. Thus the close relation of Zoroastrianism with early Hinduism is brought out, as also the relation between Zoroastrianism with Greek philosophy, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This volume covers topics like the close relation between Iran and India, comparison between the Rgveda and the Avesta, ethics in Zoroastrianism, the place of gender in Zoroastrian eschatology and the role played by the Parsis in the formation of secular, democratic, modern India.
About the Author:
D.P. CHATTOPADHYAYA, M.A., LL.B., Ph.D. (University of Calcutta and London School of Economics), D. Litt. (Honoris Causa), studied and researched law, philosophy and history and taught at various universities in India, Asia, Europe and USA from 1954 to 1994. Founder-Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (1981-1990) and President-cum-Chairman of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (1984-1991), Chattopadhyaya is currently the Project Director of the multidisciplinary ninety-six volume Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC) and Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Civilizations (CSC). Among his 37 publications, he has authored 19 and edited and co-edited 18. These are Individuals and Societies (1967); Individuals and Worlds (1976); Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx (1988); Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990); Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991); Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997); Societies, Cultures and Ideologies (2000); Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, Society, Value and Civilizational Dialogue (2002); Philosophy of Science, Phenomenology and Other Essays (2003); Philosophical Consciousness and Scientific Knowledge: Conceptual Linkages and Civilizational Background (2004); Self, Society and Science: Theoretical and Historical Perspectives (2004); Religion, Philosophy and Science (2006); Aesthetic Theories and Forms in Indian Tradition (2008) and Love, Life and Death (2010). He has also held high public offices, namely, Union Cabinet Minister and State Governor. He is a Life Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Member of the International Institute of Philosophy, Paris. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2009 by the Government of India.
MURZBAN JAL is Professor at the Centre for Educational Studies, Indian Institute of Education, Pune, India, and author of The Seductions of Karl Marx (2010). He was Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla and a Senior Fellow (ICSSR) where he worked on the makings of the Parsi community. Whilst he has been working on the Parsis in the era of late capitalism and the geo-politics of Iran and the American empire, his main study is on Marx from the perspective of the historicist and humanist school of thought. He is an advocate of Marxist Humanism which emphasizes the young Marx’s theory of alienation. His research also includes studies on Hegel, Freud, Georg Lukacs, Gramsci and Raya Dunayevskaya. His approach to history follows the line of multilinear historicism. Unlike mainstream historians who follow the line of “Indian feudalism”, Jal advocates Marx’s original theory of the Asiatic mode of production. In this volume Jal inserts the question of the Asiatic mode and raises the question of messianic religions as seeking utopia. In this sense his work also follows the line of thought of Walter Benjamin and Ernst Bloc. He is also a critic of Eurocentric understanding of Asia.