The news from Northern California in the United States keeps getting worse. As I write this from Switzerland, wildfires that have already devastated areas of cities like Santa Rosa continue to spread. Over 5,000 houses and other structures have been destroyed, over 40 lives lost with many more still missing. The winds have picked up… Read More A Historian is a Missionary to the Past
With these impassioned words, Indian journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh would lash the editors in Delhi over the telephone. Based in Bangalore in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka, Lankesh was overseeing a weekly edition of a Kannada-language magazine. She had a firmly established reputation for challenging the ruling government, as well as injustice whenever… Read More “Speak up, you must do more, why are all of you so timid!”
Are you aware of the illusions you may hold? About your own life? About your nation? Discerning and then facing our illusions is one of the most difficult processes we can go through in life. According to one definition, an illusion is a deceptive appearance or impression. It can also be a false idea or… Read More Facing Our Illusions
At the end of this week, my soul feels battered. There is a weariness, an attentiveness to pain and grief. Yesterday a good friend and colleague from India, Vijay, was buried in the Indian Christian Cemetery in Pune. He was only in his mid 40’s, and leaves behind his precious wife Baizine and two teenage… Read More Celebrating the Darkness
This is not a blog about politics. It deals with history, especially in Asia, and relations between faiths. But under one definition, politics is fundamentally about how people relate to one another, and how can you avoid writing about that? Whether in India or in the United States, the two nations that I love the most,… Read More The Politics of the Broken-Hearted
Recently I wrote about my trip to the very well-preserved ruins of ancient Nalanda University in the modern Northern Indian state of Bihar. (See post The Thrill of Visiting the Ruins of 7th century University of Nalanda). Nalanda thrived as an international center for education for almost 700 years, with students from over 35 nations. Primarily… Read More Were there Christians in 7th century Nalanda University?
Last week I had one of the thrills of my life. Getting to visit the ruins of one of the greatest universities in history, the University of Nalanda. Located about three hours SE of the modern North Indian city of Patna (previously called Pataliaputra, the capital of several Indian Empires), Nalanda’s history as a University… Read More The Thrill of Visiting the Ruins of 7th century University of Nalanda