Thursday, 16 September 2010

Secularism, the Scotist notion of being, and India

Milbank's bete noire - as, interestingly, also Lonergan's - is Duns Scotus and his equivocal notion of being, applicable equally to both God and creatures. It is this notion of being that made possible an account of the world as apart from God, and provided the basis for the concepts of pure nature and the secular in Western modernity.

Certainly Sankara's understanding of Being / Sat is not equivocal: even the most extreme monist interpreters would admit that, to the point of actually regarding the world as maya understood as illusion.

So: where are we?

What do we need to do as Christian thinkers in India? What kind of reading of the Western and Indian tradition? Our complexity, which is largely unknown to the West except for people like Clooney, is the new post-inculturation opposition between Brahmanic Hinduism and the subaltern / Dalit sensibility. Yet perhaps we cannot simply jettison the past. I am for engagement with it - even the Brahmanic past.

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