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The God of Rabindranath Tagore - A Study of the Evolution of His Understanding of God
The God of Rabindranath Tagore - A Study of the Evolution of His Understanding of God

The God of Rabindranath Tagore - A Study of the Evolution of His Understanding of God

by Jose Chunkapura

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9788175223080 - Year: 2008 - Pages: 352



Jose Chunkapura
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Author: Jose Chunkapura
Publisher: Visva-Bharati
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 352
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788175223080



Tagore’s God is always an enigma for the practicing philosopher. He is impersonally personal, finitely necessary and contingently infinite. He, the formless, continually yearns for forms while the counterpoint, in the other direction, is fiddled in and through the perennial human quest for Him, the Formless.

And it is in the felt union of these two mutually complementary perspectives that Tagore’s Man-in-God-or-God-in-Man emerges as the Universal Creative Soul that is Man in essence. No wonder, the unity in question defies ontological reification in terms of standard philosophical practices, on pain of being misconstrued as a piece of abstract universal, as something that possesses an intrinsic form from the very beginning.

To a professional mind, Tagore’s God is epistemologically suspect too. For, He is not to be apprehended through what we characterize as knowledge. The life of the Tagore an infinite is to be lived and if anything is to count as its perception, it is the everlasting joy of freedom that this kind of living necessarily entail.

In the following pages Jose Chunkapura has not attempted to achieve the impossible. He did not try to categorize Tagore’s God in terms of one philosophical doctrine or the other. Instead, he has made a commendable effort to sketch the principal features of the different phases of Tagore’s development of his idea of God.

The work comprises six main chapters, the first five chronologically covering the evolution of Tagore’s idea of God during the eighty years of his life and the final chapter providing the author’s own assessment of Tagore’s position in the light of some of the received theological positions. Of particular interest is the attempt to locate Tagore’s idea of God in the precincts of Catholic Theology.

This book is like one more candle, to be placed alongside many others in and around our MwuIir at Santiniketan during that holy winter night when the Baithlik sings to the galaxy for the resurrection of our Privarama— the dearest one inside— from the confinement of our mortal souls.



General Introduction

Chapter 1: Historical Background and the Early Years
Section 1 Historical Context
1.1. The General Context
1.2. The Tagore Family

Section 2. Childhood and Adolescence (1861-1878)
2.1. Significant Events
2.2 Relevant Writings
2.3. The Seeker

Chapter 2: Youth and Early Adulthood (1878-1900)
2.1. Significant Events
2.2. Relevant Writings
2.3 The Seeker
2.3.1. Who is God?
2.3.2. Where Does God Dwell?
2.3.3. What is the Relationship Between God and Man?
2.3.4. Concluding Remarks

Chapter 3: The Gitanjali Period (1900-1912)
3.1. Significant Events
3.2. Relevant Writings
3.3. The Seeker
3.3.1. Who is God?’
3.3.2. Where Does God Dwell?
3.3.3. What is the Relationship between God and an?
3.4 Concluding Remarks

Chapter 4: The Years of Mature Reflection (1912-1927)
4.1 Biographical Material
4.1.1. Significant Events,
4.1.2. Relevant Writings,
4.2. The Seeker
4.2.1. Who is God? Names Used in the Book Person, alive Names Used in the Book Sidhatã Names Used in the Book Cretan’s Unit Names Used in Other Writings Descriptive Names from Pei: conallty Descriptive Names from Sc7dhanj Descriptive Nwncs from Creative Unity Descriptive Names from Other Writings
4.2.2. Knowing God
4.2.3 Relationship between God and Man Role of Prayer in Man’s Relationship to God
4.2.4. Relationship between God and the Universe
4.2.5. God and Evil/Suffering
4.2.6. God and Salvation-Grace and Providence
4.2.7. The Pantheistic Impression (His Apparent Pantheism)
4.3. Concluding Remarks

Chapter 5 the Final Years (1927-1941)
5.1. Significant Events
5.2. Relevant Writings
5.3. The Seeker
5.4. Tagore the Humanist
5.4.1. The Religion of Man
5.4.2. God’s Place in the Religion of Man
5.5. Who is God?
5.5.1. Names Used in the Religion if Man
5.5.2. Names Used in the Religion of an Artist
5.5.3. Names Used in Other Writings
5.5.4. The Relationship between God and Man
5.6. Concluding Remarks

Chapter 6: Major Influences on Rabindranath’s Understanding of God
6.1. Hindu Influences
6.1.1. Upanishad Influence
6.1.2. Vaisnava Influence
6.1.3. Influence of the Brahma Samäj
6.2. Tagore and Christianity
6.2.1. Rahindranath’s Writings about Jesus Christ
6.2.2. Rabindranath and the Christian Religion
6.2.3. Similarities in the Names Used for God
6.2.4. Similarities in the Understanding of the Relationship between God and Man
6.2.5. Similarities in the Understanding of the Relationship between God and the Universe

General Conclusion

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