Culture & Religion is an important work that makes philosophical clarifications on the concepts of cultue and religion. The authors experiences as a teacher of philosophy and his scholastic interest combine well in the work. As a young man living in the present significant transitional milieu of the Khasi tribal society of Meghalaya, Basils point of view and arguments, I think, will be of special interest to all students and scholars of culture and religion, says Prof. Sujata miri in her Foreword. Several thinkers on culture seem to attach less and less importance to its relation with religion, as the secular paradigm has gained in popularity since the renaissance era. Culture and Religion is an attempt at rethinking this trend. The book raises two fundamental questions regarding the relation between culture and religion: (i) is religion central to a culture? And (ii) can a culture abandon its core religion in preference for another or non at all? If culture is understood from the point of view of value, the role of religion cannot be overlooked, the book argues. Culture is the way of life for self-realization, self perfection and for achieving the goal of life. Religion gives an abiding moral edifice to culture and hence abandoning it is perilous for a cultures survival as well as for its adherents individual and social lives. The author discusses these issues in the backdrop of the onslaught of the scientific culture and its consequent inevitable cultural Westernization, especially in the tribal societies of North East India.
Basil Pohlong (b. 1968), studied in the beautiful hill town of Shillong, Meghalaya. He received his graduate and post-graduate degrees from the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, in 1989 and 1992 respectively. Since then he has been a teacher of philosophy at the graduate level, first in Government College, Tura, Meghalaya and since 1995 in kiang Nangbah Government College, Jowai, Meghalaya. He completed his Ph.D. in 2003 under the able guidance of Prof. (Mrs.) Sujata Miri who has been involved in rigorous philosophical research into culture, especially in relation to the tribes of North East India in the past three decades. The present book is an edited version of his doctoral thesis. Dr, Basil’s philosophical interests are focused on the philosophies of culture and religion.
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