Past event

Knowing and Thinking the Ultimate in Hindu Theology: The Issues of Transcendence and Immanence EuARe 2023 Keynote Lecture: Prof. Diwakar Acharya. Open to the public. No registration required.

The ultimate goal of human existence is the ultimate wellbeing and it cannot be achieved without knowing the ultimate reality, its nature, and our relationship with it. Therefore, like in any other culture, Hindu thinkers have thought about the ultimate, in various theological, metaphysical and philosophical contexts, looking at it from different perspectives. They have variously described ways of cultivating the ultimate within oneself, or reverently approaching/accessing it as the Supreme Lord/God. They have addressed questions like, ‘Is the ultimate knowable with mundane means? If it is beyond human intellect, how is it possible for us to think about it? Are there supermundane ways of engaging with it, and experiencing it?' Along these lines, this presentation will present the issues of transcendence and immanence of the Ultimate, and also our relationship with the God/Goddess as the Ultimate personified.

Prof. Diwakar Acharya is the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies of the University of Oxford, where he is a Fellow of All Souls College. He has previously held positions at Kyoto University, Hamburg University, and Nepal Sanskrit University. He serves as Senior Editor for the Hinduism Section of the St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology and is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Indian Philosophy. Prof. Acharya's research concerns the religious and philosophical traditions of South Asia. He studies ancient and medieval texts, inscriptions, and other historical documents significant for the cultural history of the Indian sub-continent. Prof. Acharya is also interested in the critical examination of rites, rituals, and customs of the Indian religions and is a keen reader of various genres of Sanskrit literature, starting from the Vedas.

No registration required.

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