Towards a Christian Tantra; The interplay of Christianity and Kashmir Shaivism. Melbourne, David Lovell Publishing, 2009
From the dust cover of the English edition : Poggi
How is it possible to reconcile two facts which seem irreconcilable: a precocious Christian vocation which has never been rejected, and an immersion in the world of Tantra even to the point of initiation?
This intriguing account describes an unusual spiritual journey which responds honestly and deeply to this mysterious experience. It looks at the interplay of knowledge and experience, of spirit and body, of discernment and grace, of divine energy and love in all its aspects, during the course of an adventure which links a person to what is essential, unveiling the whole scope, both cosmic and divine, of Life.
The author shows how, beyond their obvious differences, the Christian themes of the Word which is expressed as an eternal I am, or of the divine Energy, find striking correspondences (vÁc, Ðakti) in the Tantra, allowing them to resonate together and enrich each other. This work, therefore, follows in the wake of other pioneers such as Henri Le Saux or Christian de Chergé as regards the dialogue with Hinduism and Islam.
John Dupuche, a priest in Melbourne and a notable specialist in Kashmir Shaivism, is working at the forefront of interreligious dialogue, and witnesses to a double belonging which is successful. He has authored several works in this field. His credo is expressed in the following terms which take up key words of the two traditions which sustain him: Consciousness is the Self because God is Love. The essence of tantra is Love.
Université catholique de Lyon, and Institut des Sciences et Théologie des Religions, Marseille.
For the dust cover of the English edition : Bettina
This work by Father Dupuche is the frank and honest account of a spiritual search which, starting from the Christian tradition and without rejecting it, leads to a Hindu tantric spirituality. Hindu tantra, largely misunderstood and misused, is discovered in all its depth and also in its complementarity to a Christian spirituality that has become desiccated and deprived of a sense of the body, in fact disincarnated.
This account shows that interreligious dialogue is not an academic luxury or an item on an institutional agenda but a spiritual necessity. We need the Tantra if we are to go beyond the dualism that has weighed so heavily on Christianity for centuries.
May this book clear the way for an ever deeper appreciation of the ground-breaking phenomenon of interreligious dialogue.
Professor of Religious Studies at the Universities of Vienna and Salzburg, Director of the Abhinavagupta Research Library, Varanasi, India.