I’ve been struggling of late. It’s not only the summer (holiday) distraction… because I like the solitude of the campus at present. The problem is that I know what I should do and I do not do it (Romans 7).

I have a clear roadmap to complete my proposal… I have certain books to read before I start writing. However,  instead of following my own plan, I keep reading ‘around’ my planned reading. It’s like I’m circling my topic, rather than pouncing on it.

Let me explain. My topic for my PhD is roughly, A theology of religion in the Indian and postmodern context. Sounds exciting (to me at least).

One chapter is  a survey of 20th century Indian theologies of religion.  That I will probably do straight out after the proposal is approved.

The second chapter is a survey of the literary turn in theology, particularly in relation to the issue of “religion”. So I’d be looking at Wittgenstein, Ricoeur and Derrida… and also to those theologians who tried to employ their thought, particularly Lindbeck.

The next chapter is the one that’s more complex, the one where I bring to bear chapter 1-2; and launching out of the isolation of po-mo thought for an (updated) Indian theology of religion.

My plan was to at least get a good grasp of Wittgenstein/Ricouer/Derrida before seeing how to critique, move out of them, or move with them.

I started with Wittgenstein, even made head-way. But suddenly I find myself exploring Indian philosophy and Balagadhara’s book on religion.  Why? Because I find po-mo thought so contextually related to modernism (and western enlightenment)… and naturally so… I find myself dangerously close to losing myself to the debate of the west… without any idea of how it does or could relate to the Indian context.

A noble goal, it seems, but totally out of the scope of my current study. Why can’t I delay this Indian component and get to it later, you ask? I have no answer.

Instead, I flounder from Indian thought… to western thought… not having my hook, or my entry point, or even my exit point, in this debate.

So that’s where I am… an excellent example of ‘poor’ studying and researching methods.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get out of this impasse soon.

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