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Caste system Horniman Museum, London (photo by Alan Denney with permission from the author)

Do human beings have a political and social orientation nowadays? What is to be done about the identity crisis affecting Europe at present? What is the future of India, with its permanent tension between modernization and tradition? Is democracy the key to the future? Is tradition doomed to failure? Is there any real universal criterion for human rights? All these questions were asked by Alain Daniélou – from the perspective of an individual who has delved into a highly different cultural milieu, from which he extracted what, to him, were the most solid and convincing aspects of social life – in an attempt to rethink such aspects in the context of general dissolution, as well as social and political stagnation.

FIND Intellectual Dialogue takes Daniélou’s gesture as a prime impulse to question critically all aspects of social and political life taken for granted, especially in a context where such assumptions also show great injustice and disorientation. The political and social heritage of Daniélou, limited as it may be to the context in which it arose, is still a source of permanent reflection for our 21st century, especially with regard to key transcultural issues such as identity, difference, tradition, subversion and diversity. The leading force of this reflection is the wish to live in harmony with nature, respecting all beings, while understanding that the very idea of creation itself is characterized by conflict, violence and change.


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