[Advaita-l] Traditional Scholarship vs Modern Pseudo-Intellectualism

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 14 09:27:25 CST 2011

> I wanted to start this post because even the most learned members of this
> forum have glorified the academic scholars for the correctness of their
> translation and deep insights. On the face of it, this appreciation seems

The threads that have spinned off from my passing reference to the works of
Francis Clooney are moving in unsavory directions. Let me just clarify what I
meant when I brought up his name.
a. There is no expectation that you can learn in a traditional manner from a
professor in a modern academic institution. Yes, the ability to quote chapter
and verse from memory from a number of texts is a traditional requirement,
but that is not how modern academia works.
b. There is  something to be learnt from professors in a modern academic
institution. If in today's world, we want to articulate a nuanced restatement
of traditional positions on the role of revelation in our own philosophical
traditions, we HAVE to reckon with more than three hundred years of academic
study of Indian traditions that has now been firmly established. And rather than
find fault with all of academia in a blanket sweeping fashion, learn from it and
reconfigure how to utilize the skills you may learn from it, in order to further
your own intellectual purposes.
c. Do not club all approaches within modern academia together. This is the
first step towards deliberately NOT understanding what it is all about. If the
goal is to understand one's "own" better, defend/protect it well and hopefully
even propagate it, then stop demonizing the "other". Learn to recognize real
worth and merit. If you demonize all and sundry from what you consider to
be the "other", you will lose the ability to recognize the real demons that
need to be fought and countered amongst them.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list