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Reading the Ācāryas: a generous conception of the theological method

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date04/2014
JournalInternational Journal of Hindu Studies
Journal number1
Volume7
Number of pages15
Pages98-112
Early online date17/03/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Śaṅkara and Rāmānuja offer diametrically opposed readings of a phrase from verse 13.12 of the Bhagavadgītā, in their respective commentaries on this authoritative (but ‘remembered’ (sṃrti) and not sacred ‘heard’ (śruti)) text. The interpretive originality they show in their exegesis indicates some significant features of what can be called ‘Hindu theology’. These features have contemporary relevance in outlining a Hindu theological method for today. In contrast to the medieval tradition, to be a theologian of such material carries certain commitments to readership and community today, but not necessarily to faith. An idea of Hindu theology can be developed that permits a range of readers and writers to participate in such an enterprise, for both pragmatic and humanistic reasons.

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