When first published in 1976, Ramchandra Gandhi’s The Availability of Religious Ideas was described thus by John Hick, Professor of Theology at Birmingham University: “This is an unusual and a genuinely original book . . . on the basic problem of our existence as persons in community. The author embodies both the spiritual tradition of India (for something of the spirit of his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, is powerfully present in his outlook) and the intellectual tradition of the West (for he holds an Oxford doctorate . . . ) With this double focus he explores philosophically, and in a way which shows the influence of Wittgenstein, what it is to be a conscious person in community and shows how the religious ideas of the soul, of God, prayer, immortality, the mystical and miraculous are generated by a kind of moral necessity . . .”
This reprint includes a new Introduction by the eminent philosopher Arindam Chakrabarti (currently Professor at Stony Brook University), who knew Ramchandra Gandhi and is an admirer of his work.
Ramchandra Gandhi (1937–2007) was a student of Peter Strawson’s at Oxford, from where he obtained his D.Phil. He taught philosophy at the University of Hyderabad, the University of Rajasthan, the University of Southampton, Visva-Bharati, and Delhi University. His books include Presuppositions of Human Communication, Two Essays on Whitehead’s Philosophic Approach, and Sita’s Kitchen, a Testimony of Faith.