“The (Holy) Spirit as the Foundation of Religious Pluralism in the Asian Context”
Dr. Peter C. Phan
Ignacio Ellacuría Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University
This lecture seeks a common foundation for interreligious dialogue, especially in Asia. The first part reviews the six attempts at articulating a common foundation for dialogue among religions, namely, church, Christ, God, reign of God, the Holy Spirit, and indigenous religions. While all of these foundations have advantages, they also hamper real interreligious dialogue as a genuine interaction among believers of different religions productive of shared life, collaboration for the common good, advancement toward a deeper understanding, and shared spirituality. The second part elaborates an Asian “pneumatology,” or more precisely an understanding of God as Spirit who manifests Godself in many different “spirits” drawing on some documents of the Federation of The Asian Bishops’ Conferences. The concluding part seeks to relate this concept of God as Spirit to the concept of Qi.
About Dr. Phan
Peter C. Phan holds the Ignacio Ellacuría Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University. He was the first non-Anglo to be elected President of the Catholic Theological Society of America. Dr. Phan obtained three doctorates and was also awarded three honorary doctoral degrees. His publications number several dozens, ranging from Orthodox theology, patristic theology, and eschatology to the history of mission in Asia, liberation, and interreligious dialogue, and have been translated into more than
A response to Dr. Phan’s lecture will be made by Dr. Susan Abraham, Professor of Theology and Postcolonial Cultures, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean at PSR.