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Book Review

Journal of Dharma --> INCULTURATION: PROSPECTS AND PROBLEMS

Michael J. Murray (Ed.), Reason for the Hope Within, Cambridge, Grand Rapids, 1999, pp.xiii+424. ISBN: 0-8028-4437-5.

Reason for the Hope Within is a wonderful idea, splendidly executed. Further, its presence and execution is a greatly encouraging sign. The book provides believers and unbelievers alike with a refreshing, stimulating, and powerful treatment of crucial issues relevant to spiritual and intellectual flourishing and the credibility of Christianity.

This is a book that simply must be studied by pastors, lay leaders, and, indeed, all those who wish to be strengthened in their Christian faith or challenged to embrace it.

John Kaltner, Ishmael Instructs Isaac, An Introduction to the Qur’an for Bible Readers,The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1999, pp. viii +308;U.S.$-24.95. ISBN: 0-8146-5882-2.

Jews, Christians, and Muslims trace their roots to Abraham, but the course of that lineage is not the same for all three faiths. The sacred texts of Christianity and Islam, the Bible and the Quran, have much in common, highlighting the close relationship that exists between the two lines of Abraham’s family. This book examines some of the themes, figures, and episodes that are shared by the Bible and the Qur’an. It is an introduction to the descendants of Isasc, who are invited to listen to and learn from the way Isamael and his descendants retell the family stories.

The book is warmly recommended for Christian readers, and is useful to be a text for college-level courses, but insightful to be read with interest even by the specialists.

Julius J. Lipner, Brahmabandhab Upadhyay: The Life and Thought of a Revolutionary, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. xv+403; Rs. 425. ISBN: 0-9-564264-3 (bound).

The cognoscenti, past and present, of various circles-historical, cultural, religious and political — all agree that Brahmabandhab Upadhyay (1861-1907) made a significant contrubution to the shaping of the India whose identity bagan to emerge from the first half of the nineteenth century. The book gives a beautiful sketch of life and thoughts of Upadhyay in fifteen chapters. The book is not only a biography as it contains excellent discussions of inter-religious dialogue and of some of the conceptual problems surrounding it...[an] outstanding work.

Suzuki D.T. Studies in the Lanкavatra Sutra, Delhi, Motilala Banarsidas Publishers, 1999, pp. xxxiv+464; Rs. 395/־. ISBN: 81-208-1656-0.

Lanкavatra Sutra is one of the most important texts of Mahayana Buddhism, in which almost all its principal tenets are presented, including the teaching of Zen. The title

Lankavatara might mean ‘entering Lanka’, suggesting that the doctrines of this scripture are possibly consistent with earlier Buddhism preserved in the Pali language . Suzuki has greatly helped the reader of the basic scripture by discussing the main ideas. He tells how to study this scripture, compares it with the popular Zen Buddhism, discusses such typical and important doctrines as Mind-only, the Triple body of the Buddha’, and many minor topics. This work is essential for grasping the main ideas of the scripture.

George Panthanmackel, MSFS, Coming and Going, Vol.1, An Introduction to metaphysics from the Western Perspectives, Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 1999, pp.xviii+363; Rs. 185/-.ISBN: 81-7086-241-8.

The five chapters of this book are “Metaphysics in the West”, “Metaphysics as Core and Ground”, “Metaphysics as Science”, “Structure and nature of Finite Being” and “Mode of Being in Beings”. The General Conclusion explains the title of the book, namely, “Metaphysics as the Science of the Coming and Going of Being”. The work is described as an introduction “to students of philosophy a creative exposition of the classical western metaphysics while being a source of reference to teachers of philosophy and professional metaphysicians?’ In a time where the validity of metaphysics as a science and its usefulness as a philosophical discipline are questioned, this work definitely shows that formation in the discipline of philosophy would be incomplete without proper footing in metaphysics. The bibliography of modem works of metaphysics enhances the merit of the work.

A.Alangaram, Christ of the Asian Peoples. Towards an Asian Contextual Christology Based on the Documents of Federation of Asian ־ Bishops’ Conferences, Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 1999, xviii+232; R. 120/-. ISBN: 81-7086-238-8.

Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences has produced a number documents on the Church in Asia. Many of these documents deal with issues like inter-religious dialogue, inculturation, etc. This book tries to spell out the outline of a Christology for Asia based on the documents of FABC. The documents of FABC from 1970 to 1991 are examined and studied. The work is based on the doctoral dissertation of the author. The three chapters of the work are ‘Theological Methodology for Asia”, “Towards an Asian Contextual Christology’ and “in the Following of the Asian Jesus the Asian Church discovers her Identity and Mission”.

D.Ray Heisey and Wenxiang Gong (eds.), Communication and Culture: China and the World Entering the 21 Century, Amstedam - Atlanta: Rodopi B.V., 1998, pp.xxvi +370; US$ 33.00. ISBN: 90-420-0454-1 (bound).

The book contains scholarly essays by twenty-two learned people on Chinese culture and philosophy, and especially the culture of communication. The book has three parts: “Cultural Perspectives”, “International and Intercultural Communication” and “Mediated Communication”. In the general introduction D.Ray Heisey says: “this volume brings together two very important themes: China is coming into its own as a contemporary world power, not only economically, but in other ways, as we approach the 21

s1

 century, and communication is viewed more and more by theorists and practitioners like as influencing and being influence by culture.” This work is the 12

th

 volume in the series called “Critical Studies”.Soman Suttam, Translation by Justice T.K. Tukol and Dr. K.K. Dixit, edited by Prof. Sagarmal Jain and compiled by Sri Jinendra Varni, New Delhi: Bhagawan mahavir memorial Samiti, 1999 (2

nd

 edition), pp.xxvi+290, Rs. 80.00.

This book is a kind of anthology. It contains Prakrit verses from ancient Jain scriptures. These verses or sutras explain the main tenets and principles of Jaina religion and philosophy. It has 756 verses in forty-four sections arranged in four parts. The four parts are “Sources of Illumination”, “Path of Liberation”, “Metaphysics” and “ ‘Theology of Relativity”. The transliteration of the verses is also given. Translation of the verses make the text accessible also the common readers. Vinoba Bhave has written an appreciation ־on this work. The publishers say that the compilation of this work was undertaken by the inspiration of Vinoba Bhave. The book is definitely a great help for students of Jainism.

Aziz Kristofį Transmission of Awakening. The Teaching of Aziz. A New Initiation into the Path of Self-Realisation, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1999, pp.xxi+313, Rs.225.00. ISBN: 81-208-1694-3.

This is a spiritual book, which deals with prayer, meditation, awakening, enlightenment, non-dual experience, etc. the six sections of the work are “the Nature of Enlightenment”, “Beyond the Non-duality”, “Guidance to the Absolute Meditation”, ‘Transmission of Awakeing” and “Questions-Answers and Spontaneous Talks”. The book imparts the spiritual experiences of the author Aziz Kristof in his own words.

Azziz Kristof is born in Poland. He studied Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta in depth. He has travelled to Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand and India in search of spiritual wisdom. He also has. studied Zen meditation, especially the Soto and Rinzai schools of Zen. He developed his own method of meditation known as the “absolute meditation”. “For Aziz, the spiritual path was not only the path of Self-realization in terms of reaching the transcendental state, but a path of Understanding as well. His particular intelligence could not rest until it reached the complete clarity. This book is a living presentation of this Clarity”.

Yuvraj Krishan, Ganesa. Unravelling an Enigma, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 199, pp.xxi+328, Rs.695.00. ISBN: 81-208-1413-4.

Ganesa or Ganapati is perhaps the most popular God of Hinduism. He is not a Vedic God, he is neither an aryan God. He appears in the Puranic period. Then he rises to pre­eminence. He said to be the creator and destroyer of obstacles. This book a very well-documented work. It scientifically studies the origin and spread of Ganesa cult in India and in other countries of Asia. The question of a non-Vedic and non-Aryan God occupying a very prominent position in the Hindu pantheon is studied. It makes textual studies and studies of artworks. The book contains numerous illustrations. Ninety pages are dedicated to illustrations: photos of statues, pictures and paintings of Ganesa from India and abroad.

Rajendra Prasad, Varnadharma, Niskama-karma and Practical Morality. A Critical Essay on Applied Ethics, (Utkal Studies in Philosophy-VΠ), New Delhi: D.K. Printworld and Bhubaneswar: Department of Special Assistance in Philosophy, Utkal University, 1999, pp.xii+292, Rs.380.00. ISBN: 81-246-0125-9.

This is a book on Hindu ethics. It is original in its methodology and approach and critical and objective in its analysis of basic concepts and definitions of ethics as they are enunciated in ancient literature. It analyses and evaluates the concept of varna-dharma, which is very often seen as the basis of Hindu ethics, in a systematic and critical way. The three parts of the book are “Some Basics of Indian Normative ethics”, “Ethics in Prctice” and “The Background Conceptual Framework”.

Richard P. McHugh, SJ, PҺ.D., Mind with Heart. Creative Patterns of Personal Change, Anand, Gujarat: Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1999 (2

nd

 edition), pp.ix+296, Rs.240.00; $ 20.00.

The book is based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). It gives theoretical lesson« practical exercises and pictorial aids of this branch of learning. In the words of the author: “Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a simple, skillful method for studying what goes on inside a person (subjective experience) - the processes people use to build their unique, distinctive maps of models of the world. NLP is a practical and dependable method for developing and expanding those maps so that effective communication can become a matter of conscious choice. In general terms, NLP is about how the brain works, how people think, feel, learn, motivate themselves, interact with others, make choices and achieve realistic goals. NLP is an approach to communication that produces the widest range of choices and the ability to change in order to achieve desired results.”

Gaston Roberge, The Faithful Witness. On Christian Communication, Anand, Gujarat: Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1999, pp.118, Rs.92.00; $ 10.00.

The book offers help to a Christian communicator in his/her effort to communicate the message of the gospel. It is workbook designed to facilitate effective communication. It helps the communicator to formulate the issues or problems properly and to explain these issues in a mature and systematic manner. It stresses the need to pay greater attention to media and helps the reader ‘to commit himself or herself to the betterment of the media environment’.

Joseph Pathrapankal, The Christian Programme, Bangalore, Dharmaram Publications, 1999, pp. x+383, Rs. 275/־: ISBN 81-86861-13-0.

What does it mean to be a Christian in our times in a world come of age, where Christians have to face the challenges posed by religious pluralism, secularism, and even the challenges of a religionless Christianity in a post- modern era? This radical question is to be approached from and answered by an equally radical proposal that in the Sermon on the Mount.. The Christian Programme is a scientific and detailed analysis of the various sections of the Sermon on the Mount, giving sufficient attention to their theological contents as well as pastoral significance. It emphasises on altruism and the need of having a correct vision of life and a healthy value system in one’s personal and social life.

Paulachan P. Kochappilly, Celebrative Ethics, Bangalore, Dharmaram Publications, l999,pp. xv +511, Rs. 200/-: ISBN: 81-86861-12-2.

In this book the author gives an original and fresh account in understanding and interpreting ethics or moral theology from the point of celebration, a fundamental phenomenon of human life. Celebrative Ethics is a response to the call to Vatican II in renewing moral theology. In responding to the challenge of the Council the author explores the link between Christian ethics and celebration of the Liturgy.

Thomas Kadankavil, (Ed), Religion and Politics, Bangalore, Dharmaram Publications, 1999, pp. vii+142, Rs. 60.

The Centre for Dalit Solidarity at Dhramaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, organized a seminar on social issues from a subaltern perspective, and the present volume contains the papers presented at this seminar. Varied topics such as Dravidian Culture, Dialogue between Dalits and Bible, the plight of the dalits converted to Christianity, the politics of reservation, Ambedkar on reservation etc. are discussed here. The essays aim at highlighting the social struggle of the dalit people for their participation in the democratic process for acquiring their due share in political power.

Gerald OMahony SJ, Praying St. Mark’s Gospel, Anand, Gujrat Sahitya Prakash, 1999, pp. ix+143; Rs. 60/-.

Carlos G. Valles S.J., We Have seen- the Lord: Experience of God in Daily Life, Anand, Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1999, pp. x+155; Rs.6O/-.

John Sankarathil OSFS, Towards a Prophetic Spirituality of Religious Life, Bangalore, Asian Trading Corporation,1999,pp.vi+128; ISBN: 81-7086-236-1

Swami Dharmananada Saraswati, Breath of Life, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1999, pp. ix+37; Rs. 45/-.ISBN: 81-208-1686-2.

Anantanand Rambachan, Gitanidarsana, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1999, pp.ix+75; Rs. 195/-. ISBN: 81-208-1695-1.

Paul Palatty, Discipleship an the new Covenant, Bangalore, U.S. Publications, 1999, ρp.xi+203; Rs.88/-.

Paul Coutinho S.J., The Ignatian Ideal And Jesuit Reality,Anand, Gujarat Sahitya Prakash. 1999, Pp. ix+197;

R.H. Lesser, Praying: Foreword by Mother Teresa, Anand,Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1999, Pp. xi+108;

Jean Pierre Caussade S.J., A Treastise On Prayer From The Heart: A Christian Mystical Tradition Recovered For All, (Translated, Edited & Introduced by Robert M. McKeon), Anand, Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1999, Pp.’ vi+237;

LM. Bermejo S.J., The Company and Communion of Saints, Anand, Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1999, Pp. ix+279;

Dulichsnd Jam Sahitya Ratna, Springs of Jaina Wisdom,Chennai,Reseаrch Foundation for Jainology, 1999, Pp. x+129;

Jonas Thaliath, T.O.C.D., Orientalia Christiana Analecta 152: The Synod of Diamper, Roma, Pont. Institutum Oreientalium Studiorum, 1958, (Reprinted Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore 560 029, 1999), Pp. xx+233;

James H. Kroenger Remembering Our Bishop Joseph W. Regan, M.M.,Philippines, Claretian Publications, 1998) Pp. vii+213;

 
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The latest issue of Vinayasadhana (Vol.8, No.2), on The Art of Parenting and Formation, is out, on 20 August 2017.

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