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From Darkness to Light

The Concept of Salvation in the Perspectives of Thomas Aquinas and Śankara


Santosh Thomas Karingadayil

The question on salvation with its multifarious dimensions had always been a significant subject-matter of discussion from time immemorial. All the religious traditions attempt to formulate appropriate answers to the questions related to this, one of the most crucial issues in theological reflections. Still the concept remains wide open for further research. It is St. Paul who said that, «For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.» (1 Cor. 13:13) Salvation, as St. Paul conceives it, is a face to face vision of God in perfect knowledge merited through the person of Christ and through the gratuitous gift of grace. It is a passage from ignorance to truth, from darkness to light and from death to immortality (Br. Upa. I. iii. 27). From Darkness to Light aims at an enhanced understanding of the concept of salvation, comparing the theological and soteriological positions of Thomas Aquinas and Śankara. The author has made an admirable attempt in Comparative Theology, deciphering and clarifying all related concepts of salvation in both the thinkers.


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Acknowledgements V


V Acknowledgements An endeavour such as this would remain woefully incomplete without an ex- pression of gratitude to those who made its completion possible. It is due to the selfless assistance of a number of good and great people that I could actualize this project. First and foremost I must thank God the Almighty for His provi- dence and enlightenment all through my life and especially during my studies in Germany. I express my sincere gratitude to Prof. Dr. Armin Kreiner, the moderator of my thesis. He has made himself always available for discussions and it is his timely guidance and valuable corrections that made this project bear fruit. I am greatly indebted to Prof. Dr. Andreas Wollbold, the second reader, for his just and thought provoking suggestions and criticisms. Prof. Dr. Manfred Heim too deserves a special mention for his encouragement and support. I extend my sin- cere gratitude to Rev. Dr. David Francis Peramangalam for having taken the pain to read and to correct the manuscript and for his rigorous and insightful comments. The tedious work of proof reading was done by Rev. Fr. Francis McHenry O.S.B, Fr. Basil O.S.B, Rev. Dr. Jan Bernd Elpert and Frau Julia Ros- nyak. I place on record their selfless effort and good will in meticulously cor- recting the language and technicalities of the manuscript. I extent my thanks to Rev. Bro. Thomas Jaccob, Provincial of St. Joseph’s Province Kerala, for granting me the permission for higher studies and to Rev. Bro....

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