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This book looks at concepts of justice from points of view of various religious and cultural traditions (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Cosmopolitanism, Tribal Cultures) and different methodological perspectives (historical, theological, philosophical, sociological). One common thread in these essays is the reflection on ethics universally and reference to the basic values of the Indian constitution. People from different backgrounds were included in the dialogue process on justice that lead to this publication.
This volume attempts to express the opinions of people whose voices were not very prominent in theoretical debates on justice and its practical implications. Their perspectives on justice are contrasted with mainstream conceptions of justice, whose representativeness for India today is thereby challenged. Both plain universalism and relativism lack a common point of reference to assess relevance and adequacy of a given conception of justice. Neither plain universalism nor relativism defined by traditional norms is sustainable. The contributors offer a concept of `internal universalism` as an alternative to plain universalism.
Combining various forms and stages of `reflective equilibrium` as conceived by John Rawls, this framework provides us with the necessary reference point to assess the relevance and adequacy of conceptions of justice and engage in a comprehensive dialogue on questions of justice.
Table of Contents
Preface HELMUT REIFELD
Introduction MICHAEL DUSCHE
I. REFLECTIONS OF JUSTICE IN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS AND BEYOND
Natural Inequality: Conceptualizing Justice in Brahmanical Discourses KUNAL CHAKRABARTI
Justice and Political Authority in Medieval Indian Islam NAJAF HAIDER
Traditional Conceptions of Justice in Christianity GERHARD KRUIP
World Society and Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Perspective MICHAEL DUSCHE
II. REFLECTIONS OF JUSTICE IN LITERARY TRADITIONS
Poetic and Social Justice: Some Reflections on the Premchand-Dalit Controversy ALOK RAI
Representation and Testimony: Anand`s Novels and the Problem of Justice UDAYA KUMAR
III: DEMANDING JUSTICE
Slum Development as a Justice Forum ROMA CHATTERJEE
Environment and Justice: The `Public` Purpose of Water SATYAJIT SINGH
Class, Democracy and Conceptions of Justice in India VIDHU VERMA
Tribe and Justice VIRGINIUS XAXA