Author: Basil Pohlong
Publisher: Mittal Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170999642
Culture and Religion is an important work that makes philosophical clarifications on the concepts of culture and religion. The author’s experiences as a teacher of philosophy and his scholastic interests combine well in the work. As a young man living in the present significant transitional milieu of the Khasi tribal society of Meghalaya, Basil’s point of view and arguments, I think, will be of special interest to all students and scholars of culture and religion, says Prof Sujata Miri in her foreword. Several thinkers on culture seem to attach less and less importance to its relation with religion, as the secular paradigm has gained in popularity since the renaissance era.
Culture and Religion is an attempt a rethinking this trend. The book raises two fundamental questions regarding the relation between culture and religion: (i) is religion central to a culture? And (ii) can a culture abandon its core religion in preference for another or none at all?
If culture is understood from the point of view of value, the role of religion cannot be overlooked, the book argues. Culture is the way of life for self-realization, self-perfection and for achieving the goal of life. Religion gives an abiding moral edifice to culture and hence abandoning it is perilous for a culture’s survival as well as for its adherents’ individual and social lives. The author discusses these issues in the backdrop of the onslaught of the scientific culture and its consequent inevitable cultural Westernization, especially in the tribal societies of North East India.