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An Indian Rational Theology (Introduction to Udayana's Nyayakusumanjali)

An Indian Rational Theology (Introduction to Udayana's Nyayakusumanjali)

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In the Indian theistic schools of thought we can distinguish two distinct kinds of approach to the doctrine of God, the one based primarily on logical reasoning, the other on the authority of the sacred scriptures. The first mode of approach may be termed ‘philosophical’ or ‘rational’, the second ‘theological’ or ‘scriptural’ Among the Brahmanical systems of the first millennium of our era that admitted the existence of God, the Nyadya-Vaisesika doctrine of God can be said to represent the typical rational theology. No doubt, we come across stray references to theistic Samkhyins and theistic Mimamsakas even during this period, but we have little or no knowledge of their doctrine of God. Moreover, these are representatives of only small groups that have broken themselves off from the classical schools and made some modifications in the doctrines of their respective schools in order to assign a place, perhaps of no great importance, to God.

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