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Nonduality and Trinity: A comparative analysis of the trinitarian perspectives of Jung Young Lee and Raimon Panikkar.

This dissertation explores the Asian ways of understanding the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as presented by Jung Young Lee and Raymond Panikkar, who have established their respective trinitarian perspectives by means of Asian nondualist frameworks—namely, the East Asian "yin-yang " conceptuality and the Hindu Vedantic notion of advaita . Lee claims that yin-yang thinking is the fundamental cognitive structure of peoples of East Asia. From within the framework of yin-yang cosmology found in the I Ching, the Book of Change, Lee derives a triadic structure consisting of yin and yang, and the connecting principle of "in-ness," and applies it to the trinitarian relationships between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Thus, for example, the Father and the Son are one in their "inness," but also at the same time they are three because "in" represents the Spirit, the inner connecting principle which cannot exist by itself. Lee's "cosmo-anthropological" vision manifests that humanity and the universe are in the same cosmic process of change, which is infinitely bounded by the Tao, the Ultimate. Panikkar utilizes the Vedantic notion of advaita to argue that the Father and the Son of the Trinity are neither one nor two because the Spirit unites and distinguishes them. In doing so, Panikkar identifies the Father with the absolute transcendence of the Divine, and the Son with its manifestation, i.e., the Father's Being, and the Spirit with the communion of the Father and the Son, as well as the Divine's immanence in the world. Panikkar's "cosmotheandric" metaphysics suggests that reality is constituted by three irreducible dimensions of the divine, the human, and the cosmic. By virtue of "radical relativity" of these three dimensions reality is fundamentally open to transcendence at every moment. This study seeks to show that "apophaticism," "relationality," and "dynamism" are essential elements for understanding the Trinity from Asian nondualist perspectives. Lee and Panikkar have a strong sense of the primarily apophatic nature of God. They have a problem with the notion of God and the person as an independent substance. Moreover, according to Lee and Panikkar, the trinitarian relations ad intra and ad extra are not static but always dynamic. For the two Asian thinkers, it is the dynamism of kenosis that makes possible the conception of God as Trinity, i.e., the unity-in-diversity.
Nonduality and Trinity: A comparative analysis of the trinitarian perspectives of Jung Young Lee and Raimon Panikkar.
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Shin Whan Kang
Short Title
ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publishing
Proquest, Umi Dissertation Publishing
A Comparative Analysis of the Trinitarian Perspectives of Jung Young Lee and Raimon Panikkar.
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United States
black & white illustrations
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