Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues Shaping Our World
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It is a myth that only the uninformed masses believe in myths and that power brokers, media moguls, leading scientists, financial tycoons, political luminaries and intellectual elites don't. The myths that the ruling classes believe may be more sophisticated, but they are myths nonetheless. These public, large-scale narratives engage our imaginations and shape the way we experience the world. They are the stories that tell us what is important to know and how to live. Subverting Global Myths takes up six areas of contemporary global discourse--terrorism, religious violence, human rights, multiculturalism, science and postcolonialism. Here powerful myths energize and mobilize considerable public funding as well as academic production. This book is not addressed primarily to theological specialists, but to all thoughtful readers who are concerned about the public issues that shape our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. Vinoth Ramachandra draws at length on his own experience working among university students and professors against a backdrop of militant religious and secular ideologies in Sri Lanka, a country that has suffered from "terrorism" and a "war on terror" that has claimed over sixty thousand lives since the late 1970s and shows no signs of abating. Reflected as well is his experience of living and traveling extensively not only in the West but in several of the trouble spots of Asia today. Thoughtful critical readers who care to explore reality rather than flip from one reality show to another will appreciate this invitation to subvert present reality in order to make way for another.
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