The Moral and Political Writings of Mahatma Gandhi: Civilization, Politics and Religion

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Oxford University Press, 1986 - Science - 646 pages
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The first in a series of three, this volume brings together the seminal writings of Mahatma Gandhi in an accessible form. Gandhi's books were few and inconclusive, but throughout his life he wrote innumerable articles and kept an enormous correspondence. The Collected Works of Gandhi run to ninety volumes. The editor of this series has selscted the most important of Gandhi's writings on morality, politics, religion, non-violent resistance, and a host of other topics, all of which illuminate the life and thought of the great man.

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Contents

Introduction i
1
Gandhi on Himself and His Mission
13
Striving after Moksha
14
Copyright

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About the author (1986)

Mohandas Gandhi is well known as a political activist and pacifist who played a key role in achieving India's independence from Great Britain. Although born in Porbandar, India, to parents of the Vaisya (merchant) caste, he was given a modern education and eventually studied law in London. After returning briefly to India, Gandhi went to South Africa in 1893, where he spent the next 20 years working to secure Indian rights. It was during this time that he experimented with and developed his basic philosophy of life. Philosophically, Gandhi is best known for his ideas of satyagraha (truth-force) and ahimsa (nonharming). Intrinsic to the idea of truth-force is the correlation between truth and being; truth is not merely a mental correspondence with reality but a mode of existence. Hence, the power of the truth is not what one argues for but what one is. He developed this idea in conjunction with the principle of nonviolence, showing in his nationalist activities that the force of truth, expressed nonviolently, can be an irresistible political weapon against intolerance, racism, and social violence. Although his basic terminology and conceptual context were Hindu, Gandhi was impressed by the universal religious emphasis on the self-transformative power of love, drawing his inspiration from Christianity, Western philosophy, and Islam as well.

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