What is the connection between aesthetics, philosophy, critical thinking, and a better society? This collection of essays addresses the necessity of encouraging free thinking and artistic appreciation if we are to combat social evils. Drawing upon a wide range of religions and philosophies, Ronny Noor attempts to reveal the underlying principles of religious and secular thought. At the same time, he examines the role of popular actors and singers in shaping people’s social and political attitudes through pure aesthetic enjoyment. The author argues for a revamping of the Bangladeshi educational system, which he believes is an important source of the country’s slow economic development, continuing colonial attitudes, and growing religious fanaticism. Using examples ranging from Mohammad Rafi, the Hindi singer, to the philosophies of Socrates, Nietzsche, and Kant; from Tolstoy to the aftermath of the Bangladeshi Liberation War, Noor encourages the development of a freer, more critical society.
Ronny Noor was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is now an English professor at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, U.S.A. An award-winning teacher, his essays, stories, and poems have appeared in numerous journals and newspapers around the world. He is also the author of a novel, titled Snake Dance in Berlin (Orient Blackswan, New Delhi, and Parama Publishers, Dhaka, 2009).