Monday 6th December, 2021
Raimon Panikkar, The Experience of God: Icons of the Mystery (Fortress Press, 2006), 24.
Image: Timon Studler, Swizerland, @StudlerTimon
This quote is by Raimon Panikkar (1918-2010), from The Experience of God: Icons of the Mystery (Fortress Press, 2006), 24 - see here. Born to a Spanish, Roman Catholic mother and Indian, Hindu father, Raimon was exposed to the differences and similarities of faith traditions from an early age but was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1946. As Professor of the Philosophy of Comparative Religion at the University of Santa Barbara from 1971-1987, Panikkar had not one but three PhDs; in Philosophy, Chemistry and finally in Theology. In this work he compared the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas with the interpretation of the Brahma Sutras by the 8th Century Hindu philosopher, Ādi Śańkara. In 1987 he founded the Raimon Panikkar Vivarium Foundation - see here - a center for intercultural studies in the hills north of Barcelona. Panikkar was a prolific writer, completing more than 40 books, listed here. Many of these champion the dialogue and exploration between different religions that was central to his own journey, of which he said 'I started as a Christian, I discovered I was a Hindu and returned as a Buddhist without ever having ceased to be a Christian'.