Anantanand Rambachan, professor of religion and philosophy at St. Olaf College, will present “The Oneness of God and the Diversity of Religions: A Hindu Perspective” Monday, Nov. 7, at 1:30 p.m. in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.
The lecture, sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, is free and open to the public.
“Much like the sacred scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, sacred texts of Hinduism speak of God as the indivisible and uncreated one from which all else is created,” said John Merkle, director of the Jay Phillips Center. “Professor Rambachan insists that the affirmation of God’s oneness is as important as our particular understandings of God.”
“In his lecture at St. Thomas, Professor Rambachan will explain why he and many other Hindus, while affirming the oneness of God, also affirm religious diversity as a divine good for human beings,” Merkle said.
Rambachan, whom Merkle called “one of the world’s leading scholars of Hindu-Christian relations,” has lectured in many countries and is an active participant in the dialogue program of the World Council of Churches and in consultations of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue at the Vatican.
At the invitation of the archbishop of Canterbury, Rambachan delivered the distinguished Lambeth Lecture at Lambeth Palace, London, in 2008, and the British Broadcasting Corp. has transmitted 25 of his lectures around the world. He also has twice delivered the invocation address at the White House Celebration of the Hindu festival of Diwali.
Rambachan is the author of numerous scholarly articles and his books include Gitamrtam: The Essential Teachings of the Bhagavadgita (1993), The Limits of Scripture: Vivkananda’s Reinterpretation of the Vedas (1994), The Hindu Vision (1999), The Advaita Worldview: God, World and Humanity (2006) and A Hindu Theology of Liberation (2014), which Merkle called “an accessible work of spiritual brilliance.”
The Jay Phillips Center is a joint enterprise of St. Thomas and Saint John’s University, Collegeville.