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By Jyri Komulainen

Raimon Panikkar (b. 1918), a Catalan-born Hindu-Christian, is a popular theorist of interreligious discussion. This examine offers an in depth research of his theology of religions. at the foundation of the newest resources on hand, it seems that even his "radical pluralism" can't eschew the inherent difficulties attribute of pluralistic theologies of religions. in contrast to different pluralists, Panikkar doesn't sign up for the Enlightenment culture. as an alternative, his plea for the transformation of current religions is predicated on an idiosyncratic "cosmotheandrism," which pulls on either primordial non secular traditions and existentialist philosophy. the must haves of interreligious discussion, as defined in his paintings, hence entail dedication to a selected cosmology and mode of awareness.

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However, despite this explicit refusal there still seem to persist some ambiguities in Panikkar’s thinking. Cf. BS, 17, 33, in which he speaks on the absolute, although very obscurely. As I see it, this is first of all a question of a symbolic way of speaking, which does not permit us to make ontological conclusions. See MRDP, 13, in which Panikkar explicitly says that he uses the word ‘God’ as a symbol. See also CSR, 78; CD, 63.  27 It is worth noting that it seems to be at exactly the same time that Panikkar’s theological vision was beginning to emerge in its mature form.

There is a real danger of misunderstanding if the hermeneutical issue is ignored. First, it should be noted that, for Panikkar, writing is meditation. He does not consider himself writing primarily to disseminate some ideas. Instead, writing is, in his own words, “intellectual life,” which is in turn “spiritual existence” and as such participation in the life of the universe. Through writing he sees himself participating in reality itself: in the process of writing, “the self ” living in the language uses the writer as a tool, which means that the “transparency” of the author is a crucial factor.

I have had to make some methodological decisions in this respect, and I would like to explain how I have tried to pay sufficient attention to these chronological dynamics in my reading of Panikkar. 1. Problems and Limitations Concerning the Sources of the Study With regard to sources, I will confine my study to the most essential work of Panikkar in the three decades extending from the beginning of the 1970’s to the beginning of the new millennium. My analysis will concentrate on the texts that seem to be loaded with theological significance.

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