Reading Mystical Poetry Interreligiously: The Case of Hindu-Christian Love for God in Times of Absence
The vernacular traditions of South Asia are rich in religious literature that opens up possible interreligious learning, beyond what the Sanskrit and other classical traditions offer. In Tamil Nadu, there are important bodies of sacred texts in Tamil poetry that is both mystical and lovely. Decades ago, Fr. M. Dhavamony wrote beautifully of south Indian devotion to the deity Shiva, in his Love of God according to Saiva Siddhanta (1971). In this lecture, I will propose examples drawn from the medieval alvars (poets and saints), whose poetry is dedicated to the deity Vishnu (Rama, Krishna). I will focus on poems that speak of God present, but also elusively absent, and then show how such poetry offers fruitful opportunities for Catholic comparative theological learning. In the background, there is my book His Hiding Place is Darkness (2013) and my current project of a new translation of the first four alvars.
|Mar 11, 2024
|From 17:00 To 18:30
|Gregorian Centre for Interreligious Studies
|Christianity and Asian religions and culture forum
|007 - Frascara
Pontificia Università Gregoriana