Raimon Panikkar, 1918 – 2010
Mentor and collaborator of IIM
Edited excerpts from Raimon Panikkar Internet Website:
(…) He has never been a conventional thinker: on the contrary he has infringed many schemes, conventions and prejudices. His intellectual journey, between East and West, has allowed him to reflect a continuing philosophical dialogue between different traditions, ideologies and beliefs in his work. His profound knowledge of the western philosophical tradition and his exceptional knowledge of oriental philosophical and spiritual traditions grant him a quite uncommon ability for inter-religious and inter-philosophical dialogue.
His thought, inspired by the principle of advaita of Hinduism (neither monist, nor pantheist, nor dualist), suggests a vision of harmony and of concord which endeavors to discover the “human invariant” without destroying cultural diversities which all aim at the realization of the individual in a continuing process of creation and recreation. “The more we have the courage to walk new paths – he said – the more we must remain rooted in our own tradition, open to others who let us know that we are not alone and permit us to acquire a wider vision of reality”.
Dialogue is important for Panikkar but not purely dialectical dialogue but rather what he calls “dialogical dialogue” which leads to recognizing difference but also to what we have in common, which in the end produces mutual fecundation. Dialogue is not a luxury for mankind, it is something absolutely necessary and inter-religious dialogue plays an important role for peace. Panikkar does not mean an abstract theoretical dialogue, a dialogue about beliefs, he means a deep-reaching human dialogue in which one seeks the collaboration of the other for mutual realization since wisdom consists in being able to listen.
With his concrete yet global vision of existence, Panikkar defends harmony between one another, harmony with nature and with ourselves. He defends the sacredness of life as “sacred secularity”.
For more information about Raimon Panikkar
The collection of Raimon Panikkar’s books at the library of Intercultural Institute of Montreal has been transferred to the Bibliothèque des lettres et des sciences humaines, of the University of Montreal. A collection of his articles, audio-visual and electronic documents have been given to the Faculté de théologie et de sciences des religions of the same university. Some of the audio recordings of his lectures and interviews along with the archives of the Intercultural Institute of Montreal can be found at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationals du Québec. To access these documents please contact these organizations.