Beyond Compare is a remarkable work that offers a commentary on spiritual learning for the twenty-first century rooted in two classic texts from the Hindu and Christian traditions: the Essence of the Three Auspicious Mysteries by Sri Vedanta Desika and Treatise on the Love of God by St. Francis de Sales. In his commentary, Clooney achieves multiple goalsùthe book is a contribution to Christian spiritual theology, highlighting for today the beautiful insights into love by St. Francis de Sales (1567-1623), Doctor of the Church. At the same time it points out how even in our world of many religious paths, we can recover and deepen the ancient tradition of loving surrender into God's hands by opening ourselves to the wisdom of India and one of Hindu India's most famous traditions of loving God, explained to us by the south Indian Hindu theologian Sri Vedanta Desika (1268-1369). Clooney goes further, offering a comparative study of these classic works in which he self-consciously writes about the process of reading the two works and the impact this approach has on the reader. The good advice found through this deep engagement with these texts offers a deeper insight into how we can most fruitfully and spiritually think about religious pluralism in the 21st century, remaining open in heart and mind while loyal still to our own tradition. Not merely a book about loving surrender to God, Beyond Compare offers us the opportunity to advance along that path ourselves, learning from the wisdom of St. Francis de Sales and Sri Vedanta Desika, meditating on their two paths together, deepening our own love and willingness to surrender in love to God.
Intro Contents Preface Chapter 1 Two Spiritual Classics and the Possibilities They Present I. On Writing as a Scholar beyond Himself: 1996 II. Reading Loving Surrender across Religious Boundaries 1. Ved& #257 nta Deśika, His Srivaisnava Trdition,and the Essence 2. Francis de Sales, His Catholic Tradition, and His Treatise 3. Ved& #257 nta Deśika and Francis de Sales, Brought into Conversation 4. "Loving Surrender" as the Key in This Double Reading III. Some Cautions as We Look Ahead Chapter 2 Thinking, Writing, Reading: Finding a Path to Loving Surrender I. The Problem of Reason in Interpreting Religious Truths 1. Reason's Limits and Potential in the Treatise 2. Reason's Limits and Potential in the Essence II. Conversion: Reason and the Leap Beyond 1. Deśika on Conversion 2. De Sales on Conversion III. The Self-Understanding and Intentions of Deśika and de Sales as Writers 1. Why de Sales Writes, and with What Authority 2. Why Deśika Writes, and with What Authority IV. From Writer to Reader: On the Exercise of Religious Reading 1. Paul Griffiths 2. Pierre Hadot Chapter 3 Awakening: Reading and Learning on the Way to God I. Scripture, Inscribed in the Treatise and Essence 1. De Sales' Use of Scripture 2. Deśika's Use of Scripture II. Engaging the Reader: Person to Person 1. De Sales Makes It Personal: Learning by Example 2. Deśika's Sparer, More Traditional Approach III. Reading More Intensely to Discover a Destiny 1. The Particulars of Rapture: Advice from Charles Altieri 2. The Complex Text and the Complex Reader Chapter 4 Loving Surrender: Insight, Drama, and Ecstasy I. The Theological Presuppositions of Self-Abandonment 1. De Sales: Freely Choosing to Let God Be All in All 2. Deśika: From Devotion to Human Readiness. II. Deśika's Exegesis of the Dvaya Mantra 1. The First Clause: I approach for refuge the feet of N& #257 r& #257 yana with Sri 2. The Second Clause: Obeisance to N& #257 r& #257 yana with Sri 3. The Whole Dvaya Mantra III. De Sales on Love and Loving Surrender 1. The Foundations of Love 2. A Note on Deep Pleasure (Complaisance) 3. Deep Pleasure, Conformity, and Obedience 4. The Role of the Indifferent Heart 5. De Sales' Mantra? IV. Loving Surrender-Intensified Chapter 5 As We Become Ourselves: On the Ethics of Loving Surrender and of Persistence in Reading I. Life after Loving Surrender to God 1. Deśika on Life after Refuge 2. De Sales on Life after Loving Surrender II. On Being a Religious Reader and Writer after the Essence and Treatise 1. On Becoming the Right Person 2. Reason Humbled and Restored (Chapter 2) 3. The Grounded, Liberated, Passionate Reader (Chapter 3) 4. The Vulnerability and Safe Haven of the (Inter)Religious Reader (Chapter 4) III. A Final Word Notes Bibliography Index A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.
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