Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality

Sri Ramakrishna and Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion

Price: 850.00 INR

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ISBN:

9780190053758

Publication date:

31/12/2018

Hardback

368 pages

Price: 850.00 INR

We sell our titles through other companies
Disclaimer :You will be redirected to a third party website.The sole responsibility of supplies, condition of the product, availability of stock, date of delivery, mode of payment will be as promised by the said third party only. Prices and specifications may vary from the OUP India site.

ISBN:

9780190053758

Publication date:

31/12/2018

Hardback

368 pages

Ayon Maharaj

Rights:  OUP USA (INDIAN TERRITORY)

Ayon Maharaj

Description

Sri Ramakrishna is widely known as a nineteenth-century Indian mystic who affirmed the harmony of all religions on the basis of his richly varied spiritual experiences and eclectic religious practices, both Hindu and non-Hindu. In Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality, Ayon Maharaj argues that Sri Ramakrishna was also a sophisticated philosopher of great contemporary relevance.
Through a careful study of Sri Ramakrishna's recorded oral teachings in the original Bengali, Maharaj reconstructs his philosophical positions and analyzes them from a cross-cultural perspective. Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual journey culminated in the exalted state of "vijñana, " his term for the "intimate knowledge" of God as the Infinite Reality that is both personal and impersonal, with and without form, immanent in the universe and beyond it. This expansive spiritual standpoint of vijñana, Maharaj contends, opens up a new paradigm for addressing central issues in cross-cultural philosophy of religion, including divine infinitude, religious pluralism, mystical experience, and the problem of evil.
Sri Ramakrishna's vijñana-based religious pluralism--when grasped in all its subtlety--proves to have major philosophical advantages over dominant Western models. Moreover, his mystical testimony and teachings not only cut across long-standing debates about the nature of mystical experience but also bolster recent defenses of its epistemic value. Maharaj further demonstrates that Sri Ramakrishna's unique response to the problem of evil resonates strongly with Western "soul-making" theodicies and contemporary theories of skeptical theism. A pioneering interdisciplinary study of one of India's most important philosopher-mystics, Maharaj's book is essential reading for scholars and students in philosophy of religion, theology, religious studies, and Hindu studies.

About the Author
Ayon Maharaj is Assistant Professor and Head of Philosophy at Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute in West Bengal, India. He is also an ordained Brahmacarin, with the name of Buddhacaitanya, in training to be a Sannyasin monk of the Ramakrishna Order. Holding a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, he has published over a dozen articles on Indian, German, and cross-cultural philosophy. He is the author of The Dialectics of Aesthetic Agency: Revaluating German Aesthetics from Kant to Adorno (2013) and the editor of the forthcoming Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Vedanta.

Ayon Maharaj

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Sanskrit and Bengali Transliteration
Abbreviations of Primary Texts
Introduction

PART ONE: THE INFINITUDE OF GOD

Chapter 1
Sri Ramakrishna's Harmonizing Philosophy of Vijñana Vedanta

Chapter 2
A Cross-Cultural Inquiry into Divine Infinitude: Sri Ramakrishna, Paraconsistency, and the Overcoming of Conceptual Idolatry

PART TWO: RELIGIOUS PLURALISM

Chapter 3
"All Faiths Are Paths": A Reconstruction and Defense of Sri Ramakrishna's Vijñana-Based Model of Religious Pluralism

Chapter 4
John Hick's Vedantic Road Not Taken?: Hick's Evolving Views on Religious Pluralism in the Light of Sri Ramakrishna

PART THREE: MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE

Chapter 5
Beyond Perennialism and Constructivism: Sri Ramakrishna's Manifestationist Model of Mystical Experience

Chapter 6
A Cross-Cultural Defense of the Epistemic Value of Mystical Experience: Sri Ramakrishna, Self-Authentication, and the Argument from Experience

PART FOUR: THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

Chapter 7
Sri Ramakrishna's Multidimensional Response to the Problem of Evil: Skeptical Theism, Saint-Making Theodicy, and the Panentheistic Standpoint of Vijñana

Chapter 8
A Cross-Cultural Approach to the Problem of Evil: Sri Ramakrishna, the Rowe-Alston Debate, and Hick's Soul-Making Theodicy

Methodological Postlude
Bibliography
Index

Ayon Maharaj

Ayon Maharaj

Review

"Ayon Maharaj's Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality: Sri Ramakrishna and Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion is a ground-breaking study of the Bengali mystic Sri Ramakrishna. This volume will become a central work in our understanding of Sri Ramakrishna, who was a source of inspiration to numerous figures of Hindu modernities such as Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, and so on. Maharaj deftly combines exegetical work on the Bengali source-texts with debates in cross-cultural philosophy of religion, indicating lines of conversation between Ramakrishna and various contemporary western thinkers such as Benedikt Paul Göcke, John Hick, and others. The arguments are erudite, and display extensive, careful, and sensitive readings of the philosophers whose views are discussed."
-- Ankur Barua, Lecturer in Hindu Studies, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge
"Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality is a fascinating and admirably lucid book. Ayon Maharaj's knowledge of both Western philosophy and Vedanta enables him to offer unique insights into Sri Ramakrishna's distinctive views and their relevance for cross-cultural philosophy of religion. It has my wholehearted recommendation."
-- Paul Lodge, Professor of Philosophy, University of Oxford
"With this most welcome book, Ayon Maharaj explicates and develops the philosophy of religion found in the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. Not only is this philosophy an important one, urgently needed in our current era of runaway sectarianism, bigotry, and fanaticism, it is also one that has long been neglected by scholars, who have tended either to try to lock Sri Ramakrishna's thought into one or another sectarian box, or to deny that it involves a coherent philosophy at all. Maharaj, with admirable skill, philosophical acumen, and deep familiarity with the relevant textual sources, articulates Ramakrishna's philosophy with clarity and power. This should become the definitive book on Ramakrishna's thought."
--Jeffery D. Long, Professor of Religion and Asian Studies,Elizabethtown College

Ayon Maharaj

Description

Sri Ramakrishna is widely known as a nineteenth-century Indian mystic who affirmed the harmony of all religions on the basis of his richly varied spiritual experiences and eclectic religious practices, both Hindu and non-Hindu. In Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality, Ayon Maharaj argues that Sri Ramakrishna was also a sophisticated philosopher of great contemporary relevance.
Through a careful study of Sri Ramakrishna's recorded oral teachings in the original Bengali, Maharaj reconstructs his philosophical positions and analyzes them from a cross-cultural perspective. Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual journey culminated in the exalted state of "vijñana, " his term for the "intimate knowledge" of God as the Infinite Reality that is both personal and impersonal, with and without form, immanent in the universe and beyond it. This expansive spiritual standpoint of vijñana, Maharaj contends, opens up a new paradigm for addressing central issues in cross-cultural philosophy of religion, including divine infinitude, religious pluralism, mystical experience, and the problem of evil.
Sri Ramakrishna's vijñana-based religious pluralism--when grasped in all its subtlety--proves to have major philosophical advantages over dominant Western models. Moreover, his mystical testimony and teachings not only cut across long-standing debates about the nature of mystical experience but also bolster recent defenses of its epistemic value. Maharaj further demonstrates that Sri Ramakrishna's unique response to the problem of evil resonates strongly with Western "soul-making" theodicies and contemporary theories of skeptical theism. A pioneering interdisciplinary study of one of India's most important philosopher-mystics, Maharaj's book is essential reading for scholars and students in philosophy of religion, theology, religious studies, and Hindu studies.

About the Author
Ayon Maharaj is Assistant Professor and Head of Philosophy at Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute in West Bengal, India. He is also an ordained Brahmacarin, with the name of Buddhacaitanya, in training to be a Sannyasin monk of the Ramakrishna Order. Holding a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, he has published over a dozen articles on Indian, German, and cross-cultural philosophy. He is the author of The Dialectics of Aesthetic Agency: Revaluating German Aesthetics from Kant to Adorno (2013) and the editor of the forthcoming Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Vedanta.

Read More

Reviews

"Ayon Maharaj's Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality: Sri Ramakrishna and Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion is a ground-breaking study of the Bengali mystic Sri Ramakrishna. This volume will become a central work in our understanding of Sri Ramakrishna, who was a source of inspiration to numerous figures of Hindu modernities such as Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, and so on. Maharaj deftly combines exegetical work on the Bengali source-texts with debates in cross-cultural philosophy of religion, indicating lines of conversation between Ramakrishna and various contemporary western thinkers such as Benedikt Paul Göcke, John Hick, and others. The arguments are erudite, and display extensive, careful, and sensitive readings of the philosophers whose views are discussed."
-- Ankur Barua, Lecturer in Hindu Studies, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge
"Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality is a fascinating and admirably lucid book. Ayon Maharaj's knowledge of both Western philosophy and Vedanta enables him to offer unique insights into Sri Ramakrishna's distinctive views and their relevance for cross-cultural philosophy of religion. It has my wholehearted recommendation."
-- Paul Lodge, Professor of Philosophy, University of Oxford
"With this most welcome book, Ayon Maharaj explicates and develops the philosophy of religion found in the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. Not only is this philosophy an important one, urgently needed in our current era of runaway sectarianism, bigotry, and fanaticism, it is also one that has long been neglected by scholars, who have tended either to try to lock Sri Ramakrishna's thought into one or another sectarian box, or to deny that it involves a coherent philosophy at all. Maharaj, with admirable skill, philosophical acumen, and deep familiarity with the relevant textual sources, articulates Ramakrishna's philosophy with clarity and power. This should become the definitive book on Ramakrishna's thought."
--Jeffery D. Long, Professor of Religion and Asian Studies,Elizabethtown College

Read More

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Sanskrit and Bengali Transliteration
Abbreviations of Primary Texts
Introduction

PART ONE: THE INFINITUDE OF GOD

Chapter 1
Sri Ramakrishna's Harmonizing Philosophy of Vijñana Vedanta

Chapter 2
A Cross-Cultural Inquiry into Divine Infinitude: Sri Ramakrishna, Paraconsistency, and the Overcoming of Conceptual Idolatry

PART TWO: RELIGIOUS PLURALISM

Chapter 3
"All Faiths Are Paths": A Reconstruction and Defense of Sri Ramakrishna's Vijñana-Based Model of Religious Pluralism

Chapter 4
John Hick's Vedantic Road Not Taken?: Hick's Evolving Views on Religious Pluralism in the Light of Sri Ramakrishna

PART THREE: MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE

Chapter 5
Beyond Perennialism and Constructivism: Sri Ramakrishna's Manifestationist Model of Mystical Experience

Chapter 6
A Cross-Cultural Defense of the Epistemic Value of Mystical Experience: Sri Ramakrishna, Self-Authentication, and the Argument from Experience

PART FOUR: THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

Chapter 7
Sri Ramakrishna's Multidimensional Response to the Problem of Evil: Skeptical Theism, Saint-Making Theodicy, and the Panentheistic Standpoint of Vijñana

Chapter 8
A Cross-Cultural Approach to the Problem of Evil: Sri Ramakrishna, the Rowe-Alston Debate, and Hick's Soul-Making Theodicy

Methodological Postlude
Bibliography
Index

Read More