Author: Renuka Narayanan
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143028847
In Faith, Renuka Narayanan, one of India’s leading mainstream commentators on religion and spirituality, looks at ways to fill the empty space that Sartre famously called ‘the God-sized’ hole in our consciousness. Eschewing extreme viewpoints, she tries to apply the Big Idea to our little lives, and makes many interfaith discoveries in the process. This volume contains a selection of her writings in ‘Faithline’, the popular column begun in April 2000, which also draws frequent protest from the orthodoxy for the questions it asks or the points it makes.
Prospecting the middle ground—‘a thorny, rocky, slippery path’—where several shades of truth can be glimpsed, Narayanan looks at everyday events and comes up with codes to live by. A musical performance, for instance, becomes an opportunity to discover the joy of differences—and the joy of accepting such differences; while a good monsoon shower opens her eyes to the small pleasures of life that offset its casual cruelties. Narayanan examines the angst of a secularist, the secret rhythm of Mumbai, the significance of festivals, the power of Devi and the popularity of Shiva. Drawing on our resources of received wisdom, she brings together the Sufis and Thiruvalluvar, the Granth Sahib and the teachings of Zaratushtra, the Vedas and the Bible, Begum Akhtar and David Bowie, as she considers what it means to be human, and Indian.
Faith is an elegant, passionate appeal for a genuinely pluralistic approach, whereby we acknowledge the complex and sometimes bitter realities of our history, while adhering firmly to a positive vision of the future.