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Trinity and Theism

University of Edinburgh

Panikkar offers a “holistic vision” of how to move beyond cultural and religious divisions by finding a triadic principle—the Trinity in Christian tradition—in all human thought. He proposes alternatives to the various “all or nothing” dualisms of human belief by reviving “nondualistic” ideas in Western and Eastern thought and, in the latter case, ancient Indian philosophy especially. The themes “rhythm” and “continuous creation” (creatio continua) are used to describe various states of nondualism. The lectures were rewritten for book form twenty years after their delivery. They cite innumerable ancient and modern sources from Western and Eastern culture: the goal is to overcome “monoculturalism.” Although the book has nearly 180 headings and subheadings, Panikkar says his approach is not systemic; the published lectures should be read as “a contemplative work.” The lectures survey the large human questions and the ancient and modern responses. This leads to Panikkar’s alternative proposal for tapping humanity’s natural “theanthropocosmic” outlook—a term combining the divine, human, and cosmic—to create a new (or “emerging”) mythos that goes beyond narrative myths provided by older “kosmologies” and more recent scientific “cosmology.”