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Person in Sankara Vedanta: The Work of Richard De Smet

by Jacob Palaparambil

  • ISBN Hardcover: 9789359669984, 9359669989
  • ISBN Paperback: 9789359666051, 935966605X
  • Year of Publication: 2024
  • Edition: 1st
  • No. of Pages: 482
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishing House
  • Sale price ₹ 595.00 Regular price ₹ 595.00

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    Book Description:

    The author conducts a thorough analysis and skillfully delves into the philosophical insights of Richard De Smet, a Christian theologian and an expert in Thomistic philosophy and Advaita Vedanta. De Smet challenges the conventional view that the Nirguṇa Brahman is impersonal. Instead, he contends that within orthodox Christian faith, the term ‘personal God’ refers to a deity without attributes—the simple Absolute (khanda, nirguṇa)—and represents pure undifferentiated truth (sad-Eva). Furthermore, De Smet upholds the personhood of both Brahman and jīvātman in Śaṅkara’s Advaita Vedanta. The author of this book deserves commendation for presenting this core truth of Advaita Vedanta in a logical and persuasive manner. Scholars and students interested in exploring the concept of person should consider this book essential.

    About the Author:

    JACOB PALAPARAMBIL is a Salesian of Don Bosco belonging to the Province of St. Francis Xavier, Mumbai. He has a Master's Degree in Philosophy and Journalism. He also has an Executive Master's Degree in Business Administration (IIBM, Delhi). He completed his doctorate in Philosophy from the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome. Currently he is the registrar and Lecturer at Divyadaan: Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Nashik. He has written many articles and authored two books entitled: Expounding the Philosophical Argument of 'Private Language' and Real to Reel: Unwrapping the Portrayal of Women in Indian Television Mega Serials. These written works are fruits of his interest in Philosophy and Journalism.


    Jacob makes an in-depth analysis and brilliantly exposes the philosophical reflection of Richard De Smet, a Christian theologian as well as an expert in Thomistic philosophy and the Advaita Vedanta, especially on Sankara’s ontology, use of language, and his analysis of the notion of person. De Smet does not accept the traditional interpretation that the Nirguna Brahman is impersonal. He argues that in the orthodox Christian faith, the term ‘personal God’ is used to denote a God without attributes, the simple Absolute (khande, Nirguna), pure undifferentiated truth (sad-Eva), and upholds the personhood of both Brahman and Jivatman in Sankara’s Advaita Vedanta. The author of this book deserves all praise for the logical and argumentative presentation of this kernel truth of the Advaita Vedanta. This book is a must for scholars and students interested in studying the concept of person.---- "DR. SCARIA THURUTHIYIL, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Salesian Pontifical University, Rome"

    This book competently deals with a cross-cultural understanding of “Person” through the writings of Richard De Smet, an Indologist proficient both in classical Western and Indian Philosophies. In our interreligious and intercultural world, any study on the concept of Person needs to be enriched by the various strands of thought to reveal the complexity and the beauty of the concept. Richard De Smet chooses to present the Idea of Person dialoguing between the philosophies of Thomas Aquinas and Adi Sankaracarya where the discussion of the Para-brahman as personal and not impersonal becomes central to his arguments. Jacob meticu-lously conducts a comprehensive research on these arguments of De Smet to not only portray De Smet’s genius but also to pay him homage for his invaluable contribution to the philosophy of person.----"DR. BRYAN LOBO, Dean of Missiology Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome"