Those who think they can contribute to a better understanding of SR Goel's work, please send in the title and abstract of a paper for the SR Goel Centenary Conference (meaning teleconference) due on 16-17 October 2021. Or if you know someone better placed for the task but outside my circuit, please pass this request on. The ultimate date for the abstract is in principle 15 August (but do still try your luck if you are a few days late), so that we can finalize the programme by 1 September. Every speaker gets half an hour for presentation plus Q&A.
A non-exhaustive list of topics would include Goel's Leftist early phase; the merits, successes and failures of his Society for the Defence of Freedom in Asia; the place of his critique of the Islamic theology of iconoclasm (in Hindu Temples vol.2) or of Prophetism's modus operandi (in his lengthy foreword to the final edition of the Calcutta Quran Petition) in the wider movement of Islam criticism; the distinction between his ever-relevant critique of Christian theology and Christian inculturation policies (in his Christian Ashrams) with his somewhat dated critique of Christianity's complicity with imperialism (in his Jesus Christ, an Artifice for Aggression); or the touchy subject of his eventful relation with the Sangh Parivar. It is perfectly allowed to be critical; he would have been the first to get bored with mere rehashing or hagiography.
Because of the improvised nature of last year's Ram Swarup Centenary Conference, I prose to include one session for two or three papers devoted to Ram Swarup's work. The interaction between the work of both thinkers is a logical topic, but you may think of others. We will also have space for testimonials; Goel's nephew Harsh Chandra has already assured me of one. If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to get in touch with me.
Hoping to hear from you, I remain
Dr. Koenraad ELST