Author: Mark Tully
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9781846040184
FROM AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION:
This book is about living with the uncertainty of certainty, about accepting the limits to what we can know, and being willing to question our beliefs. This uncertainty doesn’t just apply to religious beliefs or, indeed, beliefs hostile to religion.
In the book I also suggest we need to be much more open to questioning our economics, our business practices, the way we educate our children, how we live as members of communities and citizens of nation states, and how we live our individual lives. But the book started from my belief that the Hindu tradition of acknowledging there can be many ways to God could help Christians to question those of their beliefs which have led them to deny the validity of other faiths, and all too often the validity of other Christian traditions than their own.
I had never considered putting the thoughts that were buzzing around my head down on paper until the organisers of the Teape Lectures asked me to give those lectures in 1999. The lectures, to be given that year in the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Bristol, had to relate to the Upanishads and the Catholic Church. Previous lecturers had all been outstanding theologians, including my former tutor Robert Runcie, who later became Archbishop of Canterbury. I am no scholar so I was very reluctant to accept this invitation. But finally I decided to face up to the challenge.
So my first debt of gratitude goes to the organisers of the Teape Lectures, not only for taking the risk of breaking a scholarly tradition, but also for the generous reception they gave to my lectures, which encouraged me to go on reading and writing abut the ideas I had expressed.
My second debt of gratitude goes to my editor, Judith Kendra. There would be no book if she hadn’t asked me to consider writing it. I did not leap at the opportunity because I was far from certain that my ideas could stretch to a book, but I gave her a copy of the Teape Lectures to give her a clearer picture of what would be in it if it ever materialised. She came back after reading the lectures with an encouraging reply and at all stages in writing the book she has continued to encourage me, reading different drafts and making invaluable suggestions for improvements. I am also very grateful to Judith’s colleague Sue Lascelles, who took over the editing at the last stage.
This book covers many different subjects, in none of which can I claim to be an expert. I am therefore particularly grateful to those people who are experts in their fields and who have allowed me to test my ideas on them. In particular I am grateful to my old friend Chaturvedi Badrinath, who was the First person to awaken my interest in the uncertainty of certainty; and who has helped me to build on that start.
The scholar of Eastern philosophy Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad read the first draft of the chapters on Hinduism and made many invaluable suggestions. Madhu Khanna with her knowledge of Sanskrit and her deep understanding of the Tantric Hindu tradition, the art historian Shobita Punja with her knowledge of Hindi mythology, and the Jungian psychologist Rashna Imhasly Gandy all helped me find a way through the mine-field of the chapter on sexual mores. Alvaro Enterria, a publisher and long time resident of Varanasi, read the chapter on that city and made valuable suggestions.
‘Fascinating…a country that is fast becoming one of the world’s most influential nations’.
The quintessential foreign correspondent, informed, even-handed and practically a native.'
--- The Times
‘A labour of love, written by a man who has witnessed the worst of India and yet can still find hope and optimism, someone who sees beyond the disunity in diversity and finds a unique balance.' - India Today
‘A warm and engaging guide.'
--- The London Paper
‘Acute and formidably well-read….Whether he is sitting talking to elderly Dalits at a village tea stall or reporting with illuminating insight on the different religious impulses and common ties….Tully Sahib is untouchable’
--- Daily Telegraph
‘The perspective of an insightful observer who has seen it all”.
--- India Today
Chap. 1: Exploring the Opposites
Chap. 2 : Marlborough : An Education in Absolutes
Chap. 3 : Delhi : An Indian Understanding
Chap. 4 : Raipur : A God too Small
Chap. 5 : Cambridge : Lessons in Humility
Chap. 6 : Maynooth : Losing Faith
Chap. 7 : Khajuraho : The Sensual and the Sacred
Chap. 8 : The Global Village : In Search of Balance
Chap. 9 : Gurgaon : Never-ending Growth
Chap. 10 : Darjeelmg : Counting Costs
Chap. 11 : Varanasi : The Unity of Opposites