A CRITIQUE OF NISHITANI’S SUNYATA AND TILLICH’S BEING ITSELF, AS CONCEPTS FOR ULTIMATE REALITY, WITH WILDMAN’S APPLICATION OF THE COMPARATIVE RELIGIOUS IDEAS PROJECT METHODOLOGY

Abstract

This paper addresses the problem: Can a synergy be derived from Keiji Nishitani’s conceptualization of Śūnyatā and Paul Tillich’s concept of Being Itself, as philosophies about Ultimate Reality, with the application of Wesley Wildman’s procedures based on the methodology of the Comparative Religious Ideas Project? The paper defines philosophy of religion and argues that it is justified as an academic discipline. A review of the literature demonstrates that both Nishitani and Tillich share common philosophical ground in phenomenological existentialism and nihilism. The paper proceeds to discuss the biographies and religious philosophies of both Keiji Nishitani and Paul Tillich. Subsequently, the paper details the Comparative Religious Ideas Project (CRIP) methodology and then applies Wildman’s procedures to these two philosophers. The thesis concludes that a synergy exists about Ultimate Reality between the contemporary religious philosophies of Nishitani’s description of Buddhism and Tillich’s explanation of Christianity.

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