A World Theology: The Central Spiritual Reality of Humankind

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 25, 1991 - Religion - 314 pages
In this book the authors, a Christian theologian and an atheistic Buddhist philosopher, examine the five major world religions--Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam--in order to demonstrate that each is a particular expression of one, common "world theology." They argue that each of these religions is centrally concerned with the same basic attempt to define the meaning and purpose of human life, and to comprehend a spiritual reality. Each is a culture-specific expression of a universal religious phenomenon, and the differing conceptualizations of the spiritual in these religions can be understood as symbolic expressions of one spiritual reality, which transcends the bounds of any one religious expression. Explaining both the symbolic differences and the essential commonalities of the major world religions, the authors argue that these religions should be considered mutually complementary rather than contradictory. This book points the way toward integrating the world's religions in a systematic manner in order to arrive at a common, world theology.

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A world theology: the central spiritual reality of humankind

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Reat ( Origins of Indian Psychology , Asian Humanities Pr., 1990) and Perry (history and literature of religions, Northwestern Univ.) boldly attempt to find the common spiritual reality that they ... Read full review

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Svatantram asvatantram cha dvividham tattvamishyate,
svatantro bhagavan Vishnu, bhava-abhavau dvidetarat
- proclaims Sri Madhva. So where is the question of Madhva saying that the dieties emanate
from the body of the Ishvara "independently" (refer Page 73). The authors have clearly confused the process of creation of Jiva's/other dieties (in the Purusha sUktha) with the process of bringing forth of his own avataras.
dravyam KARMAscha kaalascha svabhAvo jIva eva cha,
yad anugraha santi, na santi yadupekshaya...
As can be seen above, Madhva's stand is that the KARMA of the dieties (in fact any activity by sentient beings of which dieties are part-of or the insentient matter) is verily because of the guidance, grace, motivation, control and ultimately action of the Lord indwelling in them.
Elsewhere in the book (page 80) it is stated that there is a "missing link" in the philosophy of Sri Madhva. It is a case of avyapti! It is equivalent to saying that some horses are black in color, therefore they cannot fly. There is no relationship whatsoever on how a missing link on Salvation was discovered by the authors after making some unrelated statements about the nature of the bhakthi as put forward by Madhva.
On the whole scholars/sincere students of eastern phil referring to this work need to exercise due care before accepting the analysis put forth by the authors.At least in the matters of Dvaita Philosophy, the students are advised to refer to the works of B.N. Krishnamurthi Sharma.


Preface page ix
Chapter Two Atheism and the Central Spiritual Reality
Chapter Three Hinduism and the Central Spiritual Reality
Chapter Four Buddhism and the Central Spiritual Reality
Chapter Five Judaism and the Central Spiritual Reality
Chapter Six Christianity and the Central Spiritual Reality
Chapter Seven Islam and the Central Spiritual Reality

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