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Christianity and the Doctrine of Non-Dualism (New)
by A Monk of the West
Publisher: Sophia Perennis
Book ID: 9780900588822, 0900588829
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How is the Supreme Identity of Hinduism related to the hypostatic union of Christianity? Does the "pure" spirituality of the East complement the "practical" spirituality of the West? What is the relationship between Oriental quietism and Christian deliverance? The anonymous author of this work, a Cistercian monk, wrote these short but profound reflections out of an earnest desire to bring aspects of the Hindu tradition to the attention of a Western readership. With a subtle care for detail, he clarifies the relationship between the hypostatic union embodied in the person of Christ and the Supreme Identity of Atma and Brahma, two distinct notions seemingly opposed in certain respects but curiously compatible in unexpected ways. With characteristic humility, the author writes: 'We will say unequivocally that after more than forty years of intellectual reflection on this doctrine, we have found nothing that has seemed incompatible with our full and complete faith in the Christian Revelation.' Given the attraction Indian thought exercises on contemporary Western spirituality, these pages offer the Christian a welcome deepening of access to the spirit of the Hindu perspective. The radical disparity that seemingly exists between the phrase 'I am Brahma' and the sacred formula of the Eucharistic consecration 'This is my Body' melts away, allowing these separate worlds to shed new meaning on each other. The author outlines conditions leading to a doctrinal accord between the Advaita Vedanta and orthodox Christian doctrine. He writes at one point that although these two traditional perspectives 'do not pertain to the same order of Reality, hypostatic union and Supreme Identity are not in themselves metaphysically incompatible. . . . What order links them together, because all that is real must be integrated in one way or another into the universal order?" For Western readers, this work offers a better understanding of Hinduism in light of the Christian experience and suggests a better application of Christian principles within our modern lives in light of the profound spirituality of the Eastern tradition. Concerned with a more accurate interpretation of non-duality in the light of Christian philosophy and experience, the author creates the right conditions in which East meets West through an interpretation and analysis of their respective spiritual philosophies, how they differ and how they can become an expression of the perennial philosophy that unites these two distinct traditions.
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