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Synthesizing the Vedanta

The Theology of Pierre Johanns S. J.


Sean Doyle

Fr Pierre Johanns is a key figure in the history of Christian intellectual engagement with Hindu philosophy. He was the most articulate figure in a group of Belgian Jesuits in Calcutta who sought to develop the theological project initiated by Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, a convert to Catholicism whose theology conveyed a positive appreciation of aspects of Hindu advaitic philosophy. Johanns began to publish a steady stream of articles in the monthly Light of the East that analysed pertinent features of Vedantic thought from the perspective of his neo-Thomistic presuppositions. Johanns engaged in a thorough explication and analysis of the thinking of the Hindu teachers Sankara, Ramanuja, and Vallabha. He attempted to fashion a creative synthesis of their views, constructing a new, holistic metaphysic from the raw material of their respective philosophical theologies.
This book examines the theological writings of Pierre Johanns by situating him within his historical context, by discussing how Johanns interacted with Vedantic philosophy, and by assessing the success of his project.


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Bibliography 341


Bibliography Published works and articles by Pierre Johanns in chronological order ‘To Christ through the Vednnta’. Light of the East, 1 (October 1922)–12 (April 1934). One hundred thirty-seven articles. A Synopsis of ‘To Christ through the Vednnta’. Ranchi: Catholic Press. Part I, Ìaœkara, 1930. Part II, Rnmnnuja, 1931. Part III, Vallabha, 1932. Part IV, Caitanya, 1934. Light of the East Series, Ranchi: Catholic Press. Mother of Apostles. 1930. Veronica. 1931. Refuge of Sinners. 1931. Annunciation. 1933. The Little Way. 1934. ‘The Goal of Christian Spirituality’. Light of the East, 12 (January 1934). ‘Short Outlines in Hinduism’. Light of the East, 12 (May 1934)–14 (December 1935). Eighteen articles. ‘Baladeva’s Heaven’. New Review, 1 (1935), pp. 52–61. ‘Our Unresting God’. New Review, 1 (1935), pp. 305–10. ‘The Great Theologies’. Light of the East, 13 (February, March, April, May, June, July, September 1935). Seven articles. ‘The Supernatural Life’. Light of the East, 13 (August 1935). ‘Vednnta in its Various Forms’. Light of the East, 14 (January 1936). ‘Pure Actuality and World Possibility’. Light of the East, 14 (March 1936). ‘Deiformity and Deiformation’. Light of the East, 14 (April 1936). ‘Christian Faith and Vednnta’. Light of the East, 14 (May 1936). ‘Outlines of a Philosophy of the Ideal’. Light of the East, 14 (June, July, August 1936). ‘Panentheism’. Light of the East, 14 (September 1936). 342 ‘The Quest for God’. Light of the East, 15 (January, April, October, December 1937)–16 (March 1938). Five articles. Introduction to the Vednnta....

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