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The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future. By Prasenjit Duara. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 340 pages. Paperback. isbn 978–1107442856. US$33.99.

The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future. By Prasenjit Duara.... This book, extremely rich and diverse in content and vast in scale, is an impressive work on global history and the question of transcendence in facing a global crisis. It encompasses themes of philosophy, history, literature, and art, and the reader feels that he or she is learning something new on every page.Duara’s ultimate objective, as he elegantly demonstrates, is to reconcile reason and transcendence, history and space. He has done so by introducing “a less radical, dialogical transcendence” (6) that has pervaded most Asian societies in order to come to terms with the looming crisis of planetary sustainability (1), which he recognizes as one of the challenges that the world is currently facing, now that the model for modernity and modernization based on conquest of nature and driven by increasing production is no longer sustainable (279). The other two challenges that Duara identifies are the rise of non-Western powers and the loss of authoritative sources of transcendence (1).Duara defines “transcendence” not only as a source of nonworldly moral authority that can speak back to power, or a temporality from the present that also has universal applicability, but as “a way of human knowing based upon an inscrutable yearning http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Religion and Chinese Society Brill

The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future. By Prasenjit Duara. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 340 pages. Paperback. isbn 978–1107442856. US$33.99.

Review of Religion and Chinese Society , Volume 4 (1): 4 – Apr 27, 2017

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2214-3947
eISSN
2214-3955
DOI
10.1163/22143955-00401008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This book, extremely rich and diverse in content and vast in scale, is an impressive work on global history and the question of transcendence in facing a global crisis. It encompasses themes of philosophy, history, literature, and art, and the reader feels that he or she is learning something new on every page.Duara’s ultimate objective, as he elegantly demonstrates, is to reconcile reason and transcendence, history and space. He has done so by introducing “a less radical, dialogical transcendence” (6) that has pervaded most Asian societies in order to come to terms with the looming crisis of planetary sustainability (1), which he recognizes as one of the challenges that the world is currently facing, now that the model for modernity and modernization based on conquest of nature and driven by increasing production is no longer sustainable (279). The other two challenges that Duara identifies are the rise of non-Western powers and the loss of authoritative sources of transcendence (1).Duara defines “transcendence” not only as a source of nonworldly moral authority that can speak back to power, or a temporality from the present that also has universal applicability, but as “a way of human knowing based upon an inscrutable yearning

Journal

Review of Religion and Chinese SocietyBrill

Published: Apr 27, 2017

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