Rein Raud

Asian Worldviews: Religions, Philosophies, Political Theories

"A masterly account of the formative ideas and values behind Asia's diverse cultural regions. Lucid and comprehensive, this book is invaluable for contemporary global understanding." — Thomas Kasulis, Ohio State University

"A must-read for those who wish to better understand how South and East Asian traditions have shaped the world of thought for millennia, and how they continue to shape it." — Douglas L. Berger, Leiden University

Published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2021

Asian Worldviews cover
Recent decades have witnessed a sharp increase of interest in the cultures and regions of South and East Asia, owing in part to the prominent role Asian economies have played in the era of  globalization.  Asian Worldviews: Religions, Philosophies, Political Theories   is  a reader-friendly  introduction  to  the intellectual heritage of the  region. It moves beyond chronological and geographic boundaries to  present  an integrated treatment of the beliefs, teachings, and ideologies that have shaped the worldviews of  approximately half of the global population, exploring  forms of knowledge in  China, India, Tibet, Japan, Korea, and  Southeast  Asia, providing balanced coverage of all historical periods from antiquity to the modern day.

The book can serve both as an introductory textbook for the future specialist and as a source of background knowledge for those whose primary interest lies outside Asian studies, be it religious studies, Western philosophy, political science or anything else. No previous knowledge of the history or cultures of this region is presupposed, entanglement in specific debates is avoided and names and terms have been kept to the minimum. If you think that an educated person anywhere in the world should know who are St Augustine, Luther, and Mother Theresa or Aristotle, Kant, and Wittgenstein or Machiavelli, Rousseau, and Marx, or what is the meaning of ‘cardinal sin’, cogito, and ‘separation of powers’, the names and terms printed bold in this book are those you should be familiar with from a range of Asian points of view. One of the methodological premises has been to keep the scope equally balanced throughout and to maintain a more or less similar level of coverage in all areas. The book thus addresses all teachings, schools, and individuals that have usually been included in the range of such introductory intellectual histories. However, the reader will notice that some authors and ideas not always present in similar overviews, such as feminist theorists, have been given more space here than has been customary up to now.