chapter  12
ANCIENT WISDOM, MODERN MOTHERHOOD
Pages 14

Since at least the late eighteenth century, the ‘ancient wisdom of the east’ has been invoked as a corrective to the malaises of industrial modernity. In the 1920s and 1930s, as European nation-states coped with the aftermath of a devastating war, the perceived need for such a corrective acquired a new urgency: science and technology-the much-vaunted markers of western ‘superiority’—had, it seemed, served only to produce more horrific means of mutual destruction.1