Friday, 4 September 2009

How to define 'Indian Christian Writings'? Comment from Joaquim D'Souza, SDB

Dear Ivo,

Thank you for sending me the blog on Indian Christian writings. Congrats for a very good initiative of collaborating together on a determinate project in the spirit of Lonergan’s Method in Theology.

I am by no means an expert on the subject of Indian Christian writings, but I think that under the label “Indian Christian writings” should be placed the works of all those who write on Indian themes (philosophy, theology, spirituality, culture, etc.) from a Christian perspective, whatever be the provenance of the author. It does not matter whether the author is an Indian or not, or whether he/she lived in India or only visited it. What matters is the material object (if I may call it so): Indian themes (in the broad sense), and the formal object: from a Christian perspective.
From this point of view, I would include G. Dandoy and Pierre Johanns, both Jesuits. They, of course, lived and worked in India and were the editors of the Light of the East. Pierre Johanns (1882-1955) published To Christ through the Vedanta.

Another would be Olivier Lacombe (1904-2001), a scholar of Indian thought, whom the French would call indianiste. He made two prolonged visits to India. His bibliography includes among others (I do not have the complete bibliography):

- L’Absolu selon le Vedānta (Les notions de Brahman et d’Ātman dans les systèmes de Çankara et de Râmānoudja. Paris: Geuthner, 1937, réimpression augmentée de notes en 1966.
- La Doctrine Morale et Philosophique de Râmānuja, Paris: Adrien-Maison-Neuve, 1938.
- Chemins de l’Inde et Philosophie chrétienne, Paris: Alsatia, 1956.
- La Bhagavad Gītā ou Chant du Bienheureux (Collection “Spiritualité”), Paris: Seuil, 1972.
- Indianité, Etudes historiques et comparatives sur la pensée indienne, Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1979.
- Gardet, L. and Lacombe, O., L’Expérience Du Soi. Étude De Mystique Comparée, Paris: Desclée De Brouwer, 1981.
- L’Élan Spirituel de L’Hindouisme, Paris: O.E.I.L., 1986.
- Jacques Maritain. La générosité de l’intelligence, Paris: Pierre Téqui, 1991.
- Orient et Occident. Ultima verba, Parole et Silence, 2001.

Articles (very incomplete list):
“Le Brahmanisme”, in La Mystique et les mystiques, Paris: Desclée De Brouwer, 1964, pp. 817-?
“Les Saintes Écritures et la philosophie de l’être” in L’Histoire des croyants, mémoire vivante des hommes, Mélanges Charles Molette, Paillart, 1989, t.II, pp. ?

I hope my small contribution is useful to your project.

With best wishes for the good work begun.


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