Gandhi after 9/11: Creative Nonviolence and Sustainability

ISBN : 9780199491490

Douglas Allen
288 Pages
140 x 216 mm
Pub date
Apr 2019
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Douglas Allen argues that Gandhi offers to us the most profound and influential theory, philosophy, and engaged practices of ahimsa or nonviolence. Embracing Gandhi's insightful critiques of modernity, the book sees his approach as a creative and challenging catalyst to rethink our positions today. We live in a post-9/11 world that is defined by widespread physical, psychological, economic, political, cultural, religious, technological, and environmental violence and that is increasingly unsustainable. The author's central claim is Gandhi, when selectively appropriated and creatively reformulated and applied, is essential for formulating new positions that are more nonviolent and more sustainable. These provide resources and hope for dealing with our contemporary crises. The author analyzes what a Gandhi-informed, valuable but humanly limited swaraj technology looks like and what a Gandhi-informed, more egalitarian, interconnected, bottom-up, decentralized world of globalization looks like. The book focuses on key themes in Gandhi's thought, such as violence and nonviolence, Absolute Truth and relative truth, ethical and spiritual living. Challenging us to consider nonviolent, moral, and truthful transformative alternatives today, the author moves through essays on Gandhi in the age of technology; Gandhi after 9/11 and 26/11 terrorism; Gandhi's controversial views on the Bhagavad-Gita and Hind Swaraj; Gandhi and Vedanta; Gandhi on socialism; Gandhi and marginality, caste, class, race, and oppressed others.


1. Introduction: The Relevance of Gandhi for India and the Contemporary World
2. Gandhian Philosophy: Theoretical Basis with Primacy of Practice
3. Is Gandhi a Vedantist?
4. How Can Gandhi Interpret his Favorite Bhagavad-Gita as a Gospel of Nonviolence?
5. Personal Reflections on Reading Hind Swaraj and Indian Reactions
6. Is Gandhi's Approach to Technology Irrelevant in the Modern Age of Technology?
7. Terrorism and Violence: Gandhi After 9/11/01 in the U.S. and 26/11/08 in India
8. Gandhi and Socialism
9. Rewriting Marginality: Minority Literature, Hermeneutical Insights, and Gandhian Challenges
About the Author

About the author: 

Douglas Allen is Professor and former Chairperson of Philosophy at the University of Maine, U.S.A. He served as President of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy and is Series Editor of Lexington's Studies in Comparative Philosophy and Religion. Author and editor of 15 books and 150 book chapters and scholarly journal articles, he has been awarded Fulbright and Smithsonian grants to India. His Gandhi books include Comparative Philosophy and Religion in Times of Terror; The Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi for the Twenty-First Century; and Mahatma Gandhi. Allen has been a peace and justice scholar-activist, starting with the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam Antiwar Movement; he has been deeply involved in many of the struggles central to Gandhi after 9/11. He had the honor of addressing the General Assembly on the United Nations International Day of Nonviolence, 2 October 2017. He may be reached at dallen@maine.edu.

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