Brahman and Person is a collection of essays by the late Richard De Smet (1916-1997) on the topic of person in Indian thought. Overturning the current interpretation, De Smet proposes that the nirguna Brahman can be regarded as properly personal, provided person is understood in the original and classical sense that emerged in the Christian effort to speak about the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation. The rendering of Saguna and nirguna Brahman as personal and impersonal, instead, originated with the Western translators of Sanskrit works, who were influenced by an individualistic idea of the person and the consequent restriction of its application to the human being. De Smet also dedicated attention to the question of the human person in Indian and Western thought over a number of essays, proposing that a properly holistic and organic notion of the human person can be found especially in the thought of Sankara.
This collection of essays by an eminent Indologist constitutes an important contribution not only to Indological studies but also to crosscultural and interreligious dialogue.
About the Author(s)
Ivo Coelho is Reader in Gnoseology and Metaphysics at Divyadaan: Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Nashik, and editor of Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Education. Born in 1958 at Mumbai, he studied under De Smet at Pune, and went on to specialize in the hermeneutical thought of the Canadian philosopher, theologian and economist Bernard Lonergan. He is the author of Hermeneutics and Method: The 'Universal Viewpoint' in Bernard Lonergan (Toronto, 2001), and editor of Brahman and Person: Essays by Richard De Smet (Delhi, 2010).