Raimon Panikkar (b. 1918), a Catalan-born Hindu-Christian, is a prominent theorist of interreligious dialogue. This study gives a detailed analysis of his theology of religions. On the basis of the most recent sources available, it appears that even his “radical pluralism” cannot eschew the inherent problems characteristic of pluralistic theologies of religions.
Unlike other pluralists, Panikkar does not subscribe to the Enlightenment tradition. Instead, his plea for the transformation of existing religions is based on an idiosyncratic “cosmotheandrism,” which draws on both primordial religious traditions and existentialist philosophy. The prerequisites of interreligious dialogue, as outlined in his work, thus entail commitment to a particular cosmology and mode of consciousness.
Jyri Komulainen Ph.D. (2003) in Theology, University of Helsinki, is currently working as a Lecturer at the University of Helsinki. His publications include several articles on Hinduism and Catholicism.
A fine and highly competent analysis of Panikkar's thinking, rightly interpreting his 'radical pluralism' as an inclusivistic kind of cosmotheandric meta-religion. Dr. Komulainen presents us both with a thorough study of Panikkar and a provoking reflection on the aporias of a pluralistic theology of religions.'
Prof. Rudolf von Sinner, Lutheran School of Theology, São Leopoldo, Brazil.
Dr. Komulainen’s close reading is the best I have seen of Panikkar’s work. He captures the complexity of Panikkar’s thought, both in the melding of multiple discourses, and expressing the mystical quality which strains at times toward apophasis. This is an unusually difficult task, and he has succeeded well in achieving it. He brings thereby a level of lucidity to Panikkar’s work which Panikkar himself does not always achieve. In so doing, he has created a milestone in the Panikkar literature to which future authors will need to refer.'
Prof. Robert J. Schreiter, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago.
It is rare to find a published thesis that it is a pleasure to read as a book. Komulainen and his editors at Brill succeeded in creating such a rare beast. This book will be of great use to Missiology readers who teach in the area of theology of religions as well as those who are doeing academic research on the work of Panikkar and pluralistic and post-pluralist trends in theology of religions. It also does nicely as a muse’
Charles J. Fensham, Toronto
All those interested in interreligious dialogue, comparative religion, the theology of religions and Christian mission.