Spiritual Liberation and Human Freedom in Contemporary Asia
This volume tries to present a non-technical, jargon-free narrative, based on the author's lectures at Rice University, on the not-so-readily apparent mental and spiritual universe of peoples in contemporary Asia, who are caught between their inherited cultural and religious traditions and their current aspirations for economic security as well as political and human freedom. Like it or not, peoples in Asia have been influenced both negatively and positively, by Western thoughts and civilizations, especially in reference to such notions as freedom, human dignity, democracy, etc., during the past four decades or so. Now that the day of Western colonialism is over, peoples in Asia are determined to reconcile some of the legacies of the modern West, which provide «revolutionary impulse», with certain features of their inherited «traditions».
"In Kitagawa's book we have a series of profound reflections on contemporary Asia by a historian of religions who has spent a long and eventful life of personal and scholarly involvement in Asia and the West. For anyone who wishes to understand the deepest problems and possibilities in Asian life in relation to inherited traditions and contemporary challenges, this book provides a rich mine of resources and insights." (Frank Reynolds, The University of Chicago)
The Author: Born and educated in Japan and the United States (Ph.D., University of Chicago), the author taught the History of Religions at the University of Chicago for 35 years; he also served there as Dean of the Divinity School for 10 years. He formerly served as the Chairman of the History of Religions Committee of the American Council of Learned Societies, President of the American Society for the Study of Religion, Vice-President of the International Association for the History of Religions, and Vice-President of Conseil International de Philosophie et des Sciences Humaines. His publications include: Religions of the East; Gibt es ein Verstehen fremder Religionen?; Gendai-sekai to Shukyo-gaku; On Understanding Japanese Religion; and The History of Religions: Understanding Human Experience.