Seeds of truth : J. Krishnamurti as religious teacher and educator
The thesis is a critical evaluation of the work of J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986). Part One assesses his religious teaching and educational thought. It contains biographical details, a literature survey and a discussion of Krishnamurti's ideas. Some weaknesses in Krishnamurti's work are identified, notably a tendency towards assertiveness in argument and an over-emphasis on individual psychology as an explanation for social phenomena. It is also argued that Krishnamurti's educational discourse owes much to the New Education Movement which flourished in the 1920s and that he made few contributions to educational theory as such. On the other hand many positive features of his work emerge; in particular an outstanding ability to communicate, a concern with spirituality which is not bound to institutionalized religions, and practical suggestions for evolving forms of education which might develop a high level of awareness among staff and students. Part Two focuses on two schools founded by Krishnamurti. The first, Valley School near Bangalore, South India is a school for six to eighteen year olds. Educational innovations and efforts to encourage a sense of inquiry among its pupils are described and there are reports of interviews with staff and pupils. The other school, Brookwood Park in England, is an educational centre which includes a school for teenagers and a study centre for adults who wish to go on retreat. An account of school life and interviews with staff and students convey Brockwood's atmosphere, difficulties and achievements. The concluding chapter summarizes the observations from the schools and discusses the most significant contributions that Krishnamurti made as religious thinker. Finally some avenues for future research are proposed.