Possibility of Different Types of Religion

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Item Code: NAC517
Author: Kalidas Bhattacharyya
Publisher: The Asiatic Society
Language: English
Edition: 2007
Pages: 85
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.8 Inch X 5.8 Inch
Weight 210 gm
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To the Second Edition

Delivered as ‘Bimanbehari Majumdar Memorial Lectures’ in 1974, the four essays, collected in this volume, reflect the philosophical observations of Professor Kalidas Bhattacharyya, a notable philosopher, and once the Vice-chancellor of Visvabharati. The views of Professor Kalidas Bhattacharyya on religion are still important and relevant. He uses the word ‘Possibility” with a view to explaining the universality of religion as an important factor of culture and civilization. This is a liberal view which was perhaps formulated by important spiritual seekers in the past. The plurality of religions is an indubitable fact. Professor Bhattacharyya explains it in his four philosophical essays in an admirable manner. He is of opinion that “Religion originates with this sense of freedom”. This opinion is unchallengeable. When, however, a religion is institutionalized, the sense of freedom disappears. “In certain forms of higher religion”, writes Bhattacharyya, “.. Social attitude is surprisingly absent”. Mysticism, for instance, is individualistic. But individualism in religion does not invariably signify freedom. This enigma has been studied by Bhattacharyya, and therein lies the value of this book. It would be useful to the students of Philosophy and Religion.

To the First Edition

In the year 1972, the Society introduced Dr. Bimanbehari Majumdar lectureship. The introduction had its support from a generous endowment made by Dr. Bhakat Prasad Majumdar in memory of his father, the celebrated scholar. The lecture is an annual feature of the Society and diverse subjects from five different fields are, in order, chosen from year to year. The wideness of the subjects selected attunes itself with wideness of the objects of the Society. In 1974, the subject selected was ‘Possibility of Different Types of Religion’ and the lecture was delivered on the 18th, 21st, 22nd and 24th January, 1974 by Dr. Kalidas Bhattacharyya. In the field of Indian religious philosophy during post-Dasgupta Radhakrishnan period Dr. Bhattacharyya is a scholar who requires no introduction.

The subject is vast and an isolated series of lectures can do no justice to it. It does not permit its lecturer to give a comprehensive treatment in one series of lectures.

The lecture presents a landscape of the subject. In presenting this landscape the lecturer preferred the technique of Constable to that of Turner. He has presented the subject with a Realist’s intimacy. Lack of animated glow of spiritualism and rich loftiness of meditation, which the subject demands, has to a great extent been compensated by clarity of concej5tion and preciseness of exposition.


Foreword to the Second Edition vii
Fore to the First Edition ix
I. A General Survey 1
II. The Absolute as the Ideal of Life 26
III. The Ideal as Functional and Religions Based on the Notion 42
IV. Intermediate Forms of Functional Religion 63
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