Fundamentalism and modernity

14 06 2010

Editorial note: I’m unavailable until Thursday. Posts will continue to appear, but this blog is on auto-pilot

I highly recommend the article, Rush Hour of the Gods by William Dalrymple (found via the Western Confucian blog). The article makes many counterintuitive points that I think any student of modern religion needs to take into consideration. While his analysis of Islam in south Asia was known to me, his analysis of modern Hinduism was particularly informative. Such an “ancient religion” is really not so ancient all things considered, and modernity has come to shape it just as much as it has contemporary Christianity.

My own exercise here is to compare and contrast what is going on with Hinduism and Islam in India with the long evolution of Catholicism in Latin America. In both cases, nationality, technology, scholarship, and the media are striving to define what Catholicism, Islam, and Hinduism are on a national and international scale, often in contrast with more local manifestations of these faiths.
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On the kiss

9 02 2010

My heart, bring me some sign plucked from the roses of hope’s garden
You cannot bring a flower in bloom? Bring me an autumn leaf
Companion of my begging days, get up and go out quickly
Pawn anything- your life, your clothes- and bring abundant wine
O God, You have brought forth all this from what was non-existent
Bring me a kiss or two, brought from the corner of her mouth

– from The Seeing Eye: Selections from the Urdu and Persian Ghazals of Ghalib, translated by Ralph Russell

A Ghazal by Ghalib

29 04 2009

Sung with English translation


17 06 2008

 Steadfast fidelity is the very essence of Faith;

(Therefore) if the (idol-worshipping) Brahmin (who has faithfully spent his entire life and finally) dies in the idol-house, (you may rightly) bury him in (the holy precincts of) the Ka’aba

[From this site]