A colleague offered me the following piece of correspondence from the Financial Times.  It is a letter written by Dr. Gautam Pingle, who serves as a dean with the College of India.  He writes:

Sir,

[unimportant first para deleted] Intolerance bred by the monotheism of the People of the Book — mostly Christian and Muslim — in their mutual and conflicting wars and quest for world domination embroiled mankind in hatred and maasacres of each other and “the other” over the past 1,700 years.  Even today, we see the baleful effects of residual monotheism and its apocalyptic vision.

Fortunately, in some parts of this troubled planet, the polytheistic tendency, with its signal notion encouraging inclusion, seems to be gaining ground and legitimacy — after its long nightmare — in the guise of secularism.

I find it fascinating that this writer equates polytheism with secularism.  An interesting thought.

It is provocative enough for me to ask people to read my own in depth investigation of secularism (The End of Secularism) and to encourage my fellow academics, analysts, cultural researchers, etc. to join me in the project of scholarly work about secularism.  There is much to do and we only gain in the course of civil confrontation.

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