Vaiṣṇava Concepts of God: Philosophical Perspectives

London: Routledge (forthcoming)
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This book analyses the concepts of God in Vaiṣṇavism, which is commonly referred to as one of the great Hindu monotheistic traditions. Addressing the question of what attributes God possesses according to particular textual sources and traditions in Vaiṣṇavism, the book analyses Vaiṣṇava traditions and texts in order to locate them within a global philosophical framework. The book is divided into two sections. The first one, God in Vaiṣṇava Texts, deals with concepts of God found in the canonical Vaiṣṇava texts: the Bhavagad Gītā, the Bhagavata Purāṇa, the Pāñcarātras, and the Mahābhārata. The second section, God in Vaiṣṇava Traditions, addresses concepts of God found in several Vaiṣṇava traditions and their respective key theologians. As well as the Āḻvārs, five traditional Vaiṣṇava schools- the Śrī Vaiṣṇava tradition, the Madhva tradition, the Nimbārka tradition, the Puṣṭimārga tradition, and the Caitanya Vaiṣṇava tradition- and two contemporary ones Ramakrishna's and Swami Bhaktivedanta's are considered. The book combines normative, critical and descriptive elements. Some chapters are philosophical in nature, others are more descriptive, unpacking a specific Vaiṣṇava concept of God for future philosophical analysis and critique. Written by experts who break new ground in presenting and representing a diversity of Vaiṣṇava texts and tradition, the book presents approaches that reflect the amount of philosophical and historical deliberation on the specific issues and divine attributes considered. This book will be of interest to researchers in the fields of philosophy of religion and Indian philosophy, cross-cultural and comparative philosophy, analytic philosophy of religion, Hindu studies, theology and religious studies.

Author Profiles

Ricardo Silvestre
Federal University of Campina Grande
Benedikt Paul Göcke
Ruhr-Universität Bochum


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