Keya Maitra, "Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Introduction" (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)


The Bhagavad Gita is one of the foundational texts of Hinduism and probably the one most familiar and popular in the West. The moral problem that motivates the text – is it right to kill members of one’s extended family if they are on the other side in a war? – leads to an extended discussion of such themes as rebirth and reincarnation and the personal paths to unity with the universe through the yogas of action, knowledge, and devotion. In Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Introduction (Bloomsbury Academic 2018), Keya Maitra presents a new translation aimed at those who are interested in themes that cross-fertilize with Western philosophical debates regarding the nature of morality, the relation between body and self or mind, the roots of character, and the goal of a well-lived life. Maitra, who is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina – Asheville, aims at a middle ground of accessibility with recognition of the multiple and context-dependent meanings of Sanskrit terms, and the philosophical themes are elaborated with the aid of questions that are appropriate for both Western and non-Western approaches.

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Carrie Figdor is professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa.

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