SacredSecular: Contemplative Cultural Critique

* In April 2018 SacredSecular was selected as one of 20 key titles written by women published by Routledge in a diverse list including classics like Judith Butler 'Gender Trouble,' Mary Douglas 'Purity and Danger,' Patricia Hill Collins 'Black Feminist Thought.'

What would it mean to conceive of the sacred as a source of knowledge that is as vital as the secular? What insights does a contemplative approach yield in analysing neoliberal globalisation or Hindu fundamentalism? Is a dew drop sacred, or is it secular? 

In today’s charged atmosphere many believe that the sacred is best kept firmly apart from the realm of the secular. SacredSecular: Contemplative Cultural Critique offers a contrasting view. It argues that the two are indivisible and can productively interweave in illuminating key contemporary issues. Essays investigate the quotidian (trash, cut flowers), the philosophical (advaita, karma), the economic (work, globalisation) and the political (war, violence). Mani invites us to rethink the prevailing view that secularism is the only progressive response to religious authoritarianism. SacredSecular proposes a conceptual approach in which body, mind, heart, nature, matter and spirit are not merely equals, but equally crucial to crafting an inclusive vision and practice. 

This book addresses several audiences: scholars of contemporary Indian society and culture, spiritual practitioners striving to integrate their practice with their politics, and all those interested in contemplating the present and what it portends for our collective future. (Routledge, 2009)

Select Reviews/Interviews

Jisha Menon, SacredSecular: Contemplative Cultural Critique, Feminist Review, Spring 2011, read here / download here.

Lawrence Liang, SacredSecular, Conversation with Lata Mani, Bangalore Time Out, January 9, 2009, download here.

Ponni Arasu, Lata Mani on Reclaiming her Body and Soul,, March 24, 2009, read here / download here.