Monday, March 7, 2011

Lecture: Of God & Gods - Free @ Frist - March 17 2011

Lecture: “Of God and Gods: En-visioning Ultimate Reality in Hindu Traditions”
Thursday, March 17, 6:30 p.m.
Auditorium, FREE; first come, first served

Presented by John Thatamanil, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology, Vanderbilt University

Hindu traditions have various ways of conceptualizing and en-visioning ultimate reality. Some Hindu traditions take ultimate reality to be a transpersonal world-ground—Being Itself—underlying and sustaining all things without being one of those things. Still, others take ultimate reality to be an Infinite Being, like Vishnu, who is both personal and transpersonal. Almost all Hindu traditions also believe that ultimate reality can reveal itself in variety of multiple forms—330 million of them by some accounts!

In this lecture, John Thatamanil will examine different conceptions of ultimate reality/divinity that can be found in Hindu traditions. He will also pay special attention to vision in Hindu traditions since the vast majority of Hindu traditions believe that divinity can be seen and depicted in visual form. Questions to be addressed include: What does it mean to see and more importantly to be seen by the divine in Hindu traditions? How is divinity encountered by the senses, and particularly by the medium of sight? And what does it mean to en-vision Ultimate Reality in Hindu traditions?

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