The project on 'Socio-Religious Movements and Cultural Networks in Indian Civilization' was formulated by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in 1991-92 as a part of the celebration of its silver jubilee. The basic purpose of this project is to study religious movements, cultural centres and interpretations of sacred texts, which have influenced, and still influence, millions of people in the Indian subcontinent. The scholars associated with the project seek to explore the sociological as well as the ideological dimensions of the subjects of their study. Through these studies we hope to create a substantial corpus of humanistic literature dealing with the social and cultural history of Indian civilization. As a spin off, this literature would throw light on the contemporary scene.
Over a score of scholars working on the project are expected to complete their monographs by the end of 1995. A comprehensive bibliography is being prepared for publication at the same time as the monographs. A volume containing an overview of the main theme of the project would also be published. Two seminars with direct bearing on the theme will be held in 1993 and 1994, in addition to the seminars normally organized by the Institute every year. The proceedings of these seminars too will be published. The scholars working on the project meet periodically to discuss the progress of their work and the papers they prepare in connection with the project. Six of these 'occasional papers' were finalized in 1992. They are now all published.
I have enjoyed reading this paper by Dr. Susan Visvanathan on 'Missionary Styles and the Problem of Dialogue'. I feel sure that it will be of great interest to the general reader as well as the social historian.
April 13, 1993.Rashtrapati Nivas, Shimla.
J. S. GREWAL
About the Author:
SUSAN VISVANATHAN has studied at both Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has recently written a book on The Christians of Kerala (OUP, 1993). Her present work attempts to understand the theoretical possibilities of religious dialogue. She has recently completed a fellowship with Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, and teaches at Hindu College, Delhi University. She has served as a consultant for World Council of Churches and the Indian Peace Centre. She enjoys writings for children and is currently involved in communicating dialogue work through school text books.
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