November 06, 2007

D.P. Chattopadhyaya emphasises the professed unifying role of religion

The Hindu Book Review Religion through the ages RAJAN GURUKKAL Tuesday, Nov 06, 2007 Collection of articles on the role of religion in Indian history RELIGION IN INDIAN HISTORY: Irfan Habib — Editor; Aligarh Historians Society, Aligarh, Tulika Books, 35A/1, III Floor, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi-110049. Rs. 550.
This book is an anthology of 15 scholarly articles relating to “religion in Indian history” and based on different topics covering periods of disparate nature, with no claim to have exhausted the central theme. Irfan Habib’s brilliant introduction probes into the archaeology and history of religion building up from irrational fundamental premises to ethics and theology or philosophy. He discusses in great depth historical and theoretical problems involved in looking for the roots of religion in India.
In the first article D.P. Chattopadhyaya explores most carefully the ways religions develop. Examining the comparative philological point of view of Chinese, Helenic and Islamic theologians, the anthropology and sociology of religion, the relationships between mythology and history, and the interface of the scientific and Marxist views, he emphasises the professed unifying role of religion and its historically evident divisive workings in practice.

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