|Religion Roman Catholic|
|Region Western Philosophy|
Name Kuruvilla Pandikattu
|Born 28 November 1957Areekara, Kerala, India|
Era 20th-century philosophy
School Continental philosophy Phenomenology Hermeneutics Christian theology
Main interests Phenomenology Relationship between religion and science Philosophy of death Philosophy of Technology Personal identity Transhumanism Symbols Myths
Reverend Kuruvilla Pandikattu, born 28 November 1957, is an Indian Jesuit Priest and Professor of Philosophy, Science and Religion at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth: Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Pune, Maharashtra, India. He is also Director of JDV Centre for Science-Religion Studies (JCSR) and Association of Science, Society and Religion (ASSR), Pune.
- Philosophical Approach
- Dialogue as Way of Life
- Humans as Between Before and Beyond
- God as Ever Approachable Never Attainable
- Reality as Relational and Paradoxical
- Major Activities
- Scholarly books Authored books 7
- Scholarly books Edited books 13
- Popular books 10
- Early life and influences
- Variants of His Name
He has authored/edited twenty-six books and written more than 160 academic articles. He has been involved as co-founder and co-publisher with two journals, Jnanadeepa: Pune Journal of Religious Studies and AUC: Asian Journal of Religious Studies. Further, he has organised more than forty academic conferences. His weekly column on "Contemporary Spirituality" appears on Tuesdays in Financial Chronicle. He has been contributing regularly to both academic and popular journals.
He is involved in science-religion dialogue and science-related activities, in which topic he has been teaching four courses. His areas of interest (and specialisation) include: Science-Religion Dialogue; Philosophical Anthropology (Emerich Coreth); Hermeneutics (Paul Ricœur, Bede Griffiths) and Inter-religious dialogue.
The two starting points of his academic research works are in physics and religion: quest for the unification of the fourfold forces of nature in physics and the hermeneutics of dialogue in Paul Ricoeur. This led him to seek further the interpretative and symbolic (or mythic) nature of religious experience and resulted in his first doctoral thesis: “Idols to die, so that symbols might live.” He traces the idol-symbol tension in every aspect of human experience.
Dialogue as Way of Life
Then he look up the dialogical dimension of not only of religions, but also of human existence. So his second doctoral thesis on Bede Griffiths was published under the title, "Dialog as Way of Life." Further, he took up issues in science-religion dialogue, which according to him is "not an option but an obligation" for the very survival of the human species. This calls for radial commitment. Two main areas of his research are physical immortality and viable or sustainable life-style.
Humans as "Between Before and Beyond"
He has been teaching and writing on philosophical anthropology. His view on the human person could be summarised as the "between before and beyond." Following Martin Heidegger, he holds that we always carry with us our past (before) and anticipate our future (beyond) and experience the healthy tension as the "between" or the present. Further, he would say that human freedom, is the "finite search for the infinite."
God as "Ever Approachable, Never Attainable"
This infinite or God (also The Reality) is the enticing and elusive dimension of our human life. God is ever approachable, but never attainable exhaustively. Like the horizon, that invites and cajoles us and recedes from us, God is always near and far at the same time. He bases this insight on scientific details like the lowest temperature reachable (t →0) and knowing that the beginning of Big Bang (T →0) and is like the "horizon", which is never fully attainable.
Reality as Relational and Paradoxical
He says that reality is relational and at the same time paradoxical. The paradox of love is that when two people, who have accepted their own emptiness and recognises their own nothingness, affirm each other, there emerges authentic love, that is infinite. Thus, when one truly looks at reality, accepts its nothingness (even absurdity) there emerges traces of infinity. That is the paradoxical beauty of love and of our existence.
He has been actively involved in science-religion dialogue. He is interested in looking at both science and religion critically and creatively, so that they can enrich each other and the humanity. In this area he has delivered numerous lectures, written numerous articles and books and organised conferences.
Scholarly books: Authored books (7)
Scholarly books: Edited books (13)
Popular books (10)
Early life and influences
Pandikattu was born in Areekara, Kerala, India. He was born to Uthuppan and Mary Joseph. He had his early education at Government LP School, Veliyannoor (1962–65) and St. Rockey's U.P. School, Areekara (1965–70). Then he pursued his basic studies at Sacred Heart School, Changanashery, Kerala (1970–73).
After School Secondary Leaving Certificate (S.S.L.C.) he left for Guhiajori, Dumka, Bihar (now Jharkhand). Other places of his studies are: St. Xavier's School, Sahibganj (1976–78); Loyola College, Chennai (1978–81); St. Joseph's College, Trichy (1981–83); Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune (1983–85), and University of Pune (1988–91).