Ethical Life in South Asia

Ethical Life in South Asia

Distribution: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Publication date: 09/22/2010
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-22243-5
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Breaking from prevailing conceptions of ethics and morality as matters of moral rule or principle, this volume calls attention to ethical life in South Asia—the moral dispositions at work in lived experience, and the embodied practices of ethical engagement through which such dispositions may be cultivated and shared. Taking up themes such as the transmission of tradition, ethical engagements with modernity, ethical practices of the self, and moral relations between self and others, this volume puts South Asian traditions of ethical life into conversation with the Aristotelian, Christian, and liberal traditions that have been so consequential for ethical life in the West.

Author Bio

Anand Pandian is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. He is author of Crooked Stalks: Cultivating Virtue in South India.

Daud Ali is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania. He is author of Courtly Culture and Political Life in Early Medieval India.


“This stimulating and original volume of essays invites the reader to a rewarding engagement with a wide diversity of moral traditions and lived ethical practices in South Asia. . . . [O]ffers a rich mix of anthropological, historical, and textual analysis and will be of interest to readers of diverse backgrounds.”
 — Barbara D. Metcalf, University of Michigan

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Table of Contents

Introduction / Anand Pandian and Daud Ali

Part 1. Traditions in Transmission
1. The Subhas.ita as an Artifact of Ethical Life in Medieval India / Daud Ali
2. Disciplining the Senses, Schooling the Mind: Inhabiting Virtue in the Tamil School / Bhavani Raman
3. Ethical Traditions in Question: Diaspora Jainism and the Environmental and Animal Liberation Movements / James Laidlaw

Part 2. Ethics and Modernity
4. Vernacular Capitalists and the Modern Subject in India: Law, Cultural Politics, and Market Ethics / Ritu Birla
5. The Ethics of Textuality: The Protestant Sermon and the Tamil Public Sphere / Bernard Bate
6. Empire, Ethics, and the Calling of History / Dipesh Chakrabarty

Part 3. Practices of the Self
7. Between Intuition and Judgment: Moral Creativity in Theravada Buddhist Ethics / Charles Hallisey
8. Young Manliness: Ethical Culture in the Gymnasiums of the Medieval Deccan / Emma Flatt
9. Ethical Subjects: Time, Timing, and Tellability / Leela Prasad
10. Demoralizing Developments: Ethics, Class, and Student Power in Modern North India / Craig Jeffrey

Part 4. Ethical Lives of Others
11. Living by Dying: Gandhi, Satyagraha, and the Warrior / Ajay Skaria
12. Moral and Spiritual Striving in the Everyday: To Be a Muslim in Contemporary India / Veena Das
13. Ethical Publicity: On Transplant Victims, Wounded Communities, and the Moral Demands of Dreaming / Lawrence Cohen

List of Contributors

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