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Invitation to an International Conference

Tradition, Freedom and Development:

Hermeneutic Appropriations 


University of Pune


Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth

Pune India
 August 10-12, 2012






The search for development must look toward a future that is not yet. However this is not to live in a vacuum for we carry millennia of experience from the past. In order to mine that treasure the science and art of hermeneutics has undergone extensive development in the last century. This can help to sort out the different levels of meaning in the cultures, texts and rituals of the past (traditions) as well as ways to appreciate what is lasting and how this can be accessed and interpreted, in order to approach the present more creatively..

One of the major quandaries however is how to focus upon what is desirable to preserve and transform for life in our time. This has been addressed by Amartya Sen who focuses upon “freedom” and its promotion as normative for what will be promotive of this key to properly human life. But this in turn calls for a broad sense of life in all its dimensions: in breadth for global times and in depth in the face of the dehumanizing challenges of the culture of competition and conflict so characteristic of our times.

In this process of relating ancient traditions to contemporary times a central issue is the locus of meaning and value, of truth and goodness. Is this to be sought in a transcendent which in some sense is separated from daily life or is it present in the efforts of humankind to develop a context for the education of the younger generation to provide an environment in which they can be safe and open to the strivings of the Self from within which they most truly are?


1. The history of a hermeneutics of tradition
2. Goals for human development
3. Freedom as both means and norm of development
4. Eastern and Western interpretations of human goals and their complementarity for peace in global times

5. Tradition as a continuously evolving and creative phenomenon

6. Any particular theme from tradition and its creative interpretation (appropriation) for today



Professor Kuruvilla Pandikattu

Philosophy Department
Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth
Pune, India
Email: kuru@kuru.in











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