Humanity is going through a challenging time, socially, culturally, ecologically and spiritually. No doubt we have grown and advanced a great deal and have achieved many great feats. But our focus on just material growth has also become a monstrous challenge, for it deeply harms our humanity. Even as we celebrate the glittering temples of affluence and consumption, modernity has also scattered the globe with empires of inequality, cruelty and slavery and sites of suspicion, prejudice, conflicts, wars, pain and death. All these scar us deeply – physically, socio-culturally, psychologically, and spiritually – nudging us to take serious note and act. Our individual and collective futures are dangerously at stake. And, there is a battle within, as well as without, to reclaim the compassionate human spirit.
Specifically, the disquieting contexts we are in today put an urgent demand on us in the academia to reclaim the ‘human’ in humanities (and the ‘social’ in social sciences). In this effort to reclaim the ‘human’, the role of institutions of higher learning, like Xavier University Bhubaneswar (XUB), is very important. They offer a dynamic, dialogic and nurturing space to influence and to shape the human spirit, directly or indirectly shaping generations of young people and their delicate futures. What we need are inputs into understanding the human condition in all its aspects. We need to generate or disseminate knowledge produced by like-minded organisations or institutions that help us understand ourselves, our societies and the impact of our decisions better. And through this understanding, build a world where challenges can be overcome and where compassion can be nurtured.
Studies on Compassion reprint series is a project of the Xavier Centre for Humanities and Compassion Studies.
It will be published by Xavier University Press.