Bede Griffiths, Mystical Knowing, and the Unity of Religions

Philosophy and Theology 7 (4):355-379 (1993)
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Strict constructivist philosophers conclude that no truth claims can be verified on the basis of mystical exploration due to the thoroughly conditioned character of such experiences. In response, Bede Griffiths’s life of dialogue between Christianity and Hinduism suggests that mystical knowing incorporates both conditioned and unconditioned elements. In the cross-culturally identifiable experience of self-transcendence in meditation, the relationship between the conditioned subject and the unconditioned sacred “object” is transformed, resulting in an intuitive knowledge for which different criteria of verifiability are both needed and available. Griffiths’s multireligious experience thus supports the identification of common ground for various religions in mystical knowing.



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