Religious Philosopher to Speak Here

By Susan C. Thomson Of the Post-Dispatch | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 4, 1993 | Go to article overview
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Religious Philosopher to Speak Here


Susan C. Thomson Of the Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Raimon Panikkar, Roman Catholic priest and catholic religious philosopher, is coming to St. Louis next week to speak and lead workshops on spirituality and world religions.

Panikkar, 75, is world-renowned as a writer, lecturer and advocate of interfaith dialogue, especially between Christianity and Eastern religions.

By birth and by education, Panikkar bridges the gaps between East and West, Christian and non-Christian, science and the humanities. He is the Spanish-born son of a Spanish Roman Catholic mother and an Indian Hindu father. And he holds three doctorates - one each in philosophy and chemistry from the University of Madrid and one in theology from the Lateran University in Rome.

After teaching in Spain, Italy and Bangalore, Panikkar moved to the United States to teach comparative religion at Harvard University. After nine years there, he moved to the University of California at Santa Barbara's graduate school of religion, where he taught for 11 years before retiring in the late 1980s.

Panikkar lives and writes mostly in Montserrat, Spain, but spends several months each year in India.

Panikkar commands 11 languages and writes in several of them. His bibliography lists more than 300 scholarly articles and 33 books. His book titles - including "The Unknown Christ of Hinduism," "The Vedic Experience" and "The Silence of God, the Answer of the Buddha" - suggest his broad perspective.

Westminster/John Knox Press will publish Panikkar's 34th book, "A Dwelling Place for Wisdom," this fall. The book explores such topics as feminine consciousness, the ancient meaning of philosophy and the preservation of personal identity.

Pannikar believes believers can and should "enter into" one another's faiths without losing their own. "One may not be able to participate in all the belief systems, but one can have an entrance," he has said.

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