Swami Vivekananda's Vedāntic Cosmopolitanism (Hardcover)

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Swami Vivekananda's Vedāntic Cosmopolitanism Cover Image


Swami Vivekananda, the nineteenth-century Hindu monk who introduced Vedanta to the West, is undoubtedly one of modern India's most influential philosophers. Unfortunately, his philosophy has too often been interpreted through reductive hermeneutic lenses. Typically, scholars have viewed him
either as a modern-day exponent of Sankara's Advaita Vedanta or as a Neo-Vedantin influenced more by Western ideas than indigenous Indian traditions. In Swami Vivekananda's Vedāntic Cosmopolitanism, Swami Medhananda rejects these prevailing approaches to offer a new interpretation of Vivekananda's
philosophy, highlighting its originality, contemporary relevance, and cross-cultural significance. Vivekananda, the book argues, is best understood as a cosmopolitan Vedantin who developed novel philosophical positions through creative dialectical engagement with both Indian and Western thinkers.

Inspired by his guru Sri Ramakrishna, Vivekananda reconceived Advaita Vedanta as a nonsectarian, life-affirming philosophy that provides an ontological basis for religious cosmopolitanism and a spiritual ethics of social service. He defended the scientific credentials of religion while criticizing
the climate of scientism beginning to develop in the late nineteenth century. He was also one of the first philosophers to defend the evidential value of supersensuous perception on the basis of general epistemic principles. Finally, he adopted innovative cosmopolitan approaches to long-standing
philosophical problems. Bringing him into dialogue with numerous philosophers past and present, Medhananda demonstrates the sophistication and enduring value of Vivekananda's views on the limits of reason, the dynamics of religious faith, and the hard problem of consciousness.

About the Author

Swami Medhananda (Ayon Maharaj) is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order and Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at the Ramakrishna Institute of Moral and Spiritual Education in Mysore, India. He is the author of Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality: Sri Ramakrishna and Cross-Cultural Philosophy ofReligion (Oxford University Press, 2018) and The Dialectics of Aesthetic Agency: Revaluating German Aesthetics from Kant to Adorno (Bloomsbury, 2013). He is also the editor of The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Vedanta (2020). He received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley andstudied at Oxford University and Humboldt University in Berlin.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780197624463
ISBN-10: 0197624464
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: March 22nd, 2022
Pages: 432
Language: English