WHAT IS CIVILISATION
AND OTHER ESSAYS
ANANDA K. COOMARASWAMY
Foreword by SEYYED HOSSEIN NASR
xi+193 pp. 23.5x16 cm.
index Hardback ISBN: 019-562373-8: Rs 250 (HB)
The twenty essays
constituting this volume raise fundamental questions, which are both
piercing and incisive, in Coomaraswamy's inimitable style. The first
essay delves into Greek and Sanskrit roots of the word "civilization",
its meaning and context. In one unbroken sweep a vast spectrum of the
Western and Eastern civilizations is covered. Coomaraswamy's quest for
philosophia perennis, was an unceasing commitment. The essay on
the "Pertinence of Philosophy" unfolds the diverse meanings of
philosophy with the touch stone of his credo. The exploration of the
nature of myth and symbol was another preoccupation. Four essays, in
this volume- "Mind and Myth", "Symbols", "Interpretation of Symbols"
and "Symbolism of Archery" - reflect the autumnal ripeness of
Coomaraswamy's mind journey as an art historian.