The contributors discuss whether it is possible to arrive at a consensus about the persistent features of the Indian civilization without losing out on the defining characteristic of changing values and norms. The wide canvas of depictions and conceptualizations throw light on the aspirations and ground realities of the geopolitically bounded space called India.
Anindita N. Balslev is a philosopher based in India and Denmark. She obtained her MA (Calcutta) and PhD (Paris) degrees in philosophy. Her educational and professional experience in India, France, the US, and Denmark has inspired her to create a forum for “Cross-cultural Conversation” (CCC). The international CCC conferences that she organizes have led to thought-provoking discussions and publications.
She serves on the boards of several important international organizations/societies and is a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion.
Apart from contributing many essays in professional journals in the areas of philosophy, religion, and culture, she is the author of A Study of Time in Indian Philosophy, Cultural Otherness: Correspondence with Richard Rorty, Indian Conceptual World, and The Enigma of I-consciousness. She is also the editor of the volume entitled Cross-cultural Conversation, On India: Self-Image and Counter-Image and the coeditor of the volumes entitled Religion and Time and of Compassion in the World’s Religions.
When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.
Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.
The book also explores critical themes such as political actions, solidarity-in-diversity, clash of social identities, tensions between nationalism and globalism, the quest for global peace and authentic meeting of world religions. Further, it discusses the evolving connection between science and religion, focusing on key philosophical ideas that have permeated the Indian cultural soil.
The book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of philosophy, religious studies, science and technology studies, and cultural studies.