Panikkar, Raimundo (1918-2010)

Ecumenical, interfaith, and global scholar of religion

Born in Barcelona, Spain, the son of a Hindu father and a Roman Catholic mother, Panikkar was brought up in a Hindu-Catholic milieu and spent much of his time, theologically and existentially, in working out how Christians, Hindus, and people of other religious traditions should relate in the developing “one-world” situation. As a Roman Catholic priest, with doctorates in philosophy, science, and theology, he has pursued his academic and spiritual inter religious interests through interfaith dialogue, personal spirituality, and academic appointments at Banares Hindu University, Harvard, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Panikkar’s Christian, inter-religious, multidisciplinary, and global scholarship has deeply influenced Roman Catholic, wider Christian, and other religious views through significant writings. These include The Unknown Christ of Hinduism (1964)m on the universalization of theology; Christianity and World Religions (1969), on Christian attitudes to other religions; The Trinity and World Religions (1970), on comparative spirituality; The Intra-Religious Dialogue (1978); Myth, Faith, and Hermeneutics (1978); The Vedic Experience (1979), on Hindu studies; and From Alienation to Atoneness (n.d.), on the global future. His original and integrative thought also provides clues to a new and more universal Christian theology incorporating elements from other disciplines, cultures, and religions.

This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright © 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of Macmillan Reference USA, New York, NY. All rights reserved. By Frank Whaling.


Panikkar wrote over twenty books in languages other than English, and over five hundred articles in various languages.

Miguel Siguan, ed., Philosophia Pacis: Homenaje a Raimon Panikkar (1989, Festschrift).

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