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The Bhagavadgītā and St. John of the Cross
The Church recalls that «in religious traditions of non-Christians there exist "elements which are true and good" (OT 16), "precious things, both religious and human" (GS 92), "seeds of contemplation" (AG 18), "elements of truth and grace" (AG 9), "seeds cf the word" (AG 11, 15), and "rays of that Truth which enlightens all human beings" (NA 2)» (Dialogue and Mission 26). Consequently, the Encyclical of Pope John Paul II Redemptoris Missio and the Statement Dialogue and Proclamation of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue and the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples have opened wide avenues for interreligious dialogue all over the world.
The present study makes use of the comparative method incorporating historical, exegetical and critical analysis of the important texts and words of the Bhagavadgītā and St. John of the Cross. In these two traditions the dynamism of spiritual growth in the process of God-Realisation is compared and contrasted through an exhaustive study on «God», «Man» and the «Ways». Both the traditions point to a progressive dynamism of spiritual growth towards God-experience, through purification, knowledge and union of Iove, in spite of the differences. The author suggests concrete points for an integration of the two traditions in view of an intense dialogue of theological exchange and dialogue of religious experience (Dialogue and Proclamation 42).
Rudolf V. D'Souza, born in 1960 at Madanthyar (Kamataka, India), joined the Discalced Carmelites and was ordained priest in 1987, after his philosophical studies in Kerala University and ecclesiastical studies in St. Joseph's Seminary, Mangalore. He has a Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Kamataka, a diploma from the Centro Internacional Teresiano-Sanjuanista (Avila, Spain), the Licentiate in Spirituality from the Pontifical Institute of Spirituality, Teresianum (Rome), and the Doctorate in Spiritual Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome) with a summa cum laude.
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