Praying for 10 min each day at 8am with GC via Zoom in COP26

By our Co-Chaplain Andrew Norman

Raimon Panikkar

Each morning at 8am during COP26 members of Green Christian and others are gathering online to prayerfully uphold all the participants in Glasgow. We are mindful of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s warning that humanity has “run down the clock” and “it is now one minute to midnight”. To focus our prayer we look reflectively at particular slides in our visual presentation ‘Why Faith Matters at COP26’. I then slowly read the nine sutras of Raimon Panikkar.

Sutras are referred to in Indian literary, Hindu and Buddhist traditions as threads or collections of texts that encapsulate wisdom.

Raimon Panikkar (1918 – 2010) was a Catholic priest. He became a ground-breaking academic in the field of comparative religion, and is now revered as a pioneer of interfaith dialogue.  Panikkar was born in Barcelona. His mother was a Spanish Roman Catholic and his father a Hindu from  India.  He went to a Jesuit school, first studied chemistry and philosophy at university, and then went to Rome for theological studies. For his (third) doctorate he compared the philosophy of St Thomas Aquinas with the 8th century Hindu Ādi Śańkara‘s interpretation of the Brahma Sutras.  

Travelling to India to continue his studies he said:  “I left Europe as a Christian, I discovered I was a Hindu, and returned as a Buddhist – without ever having ceased to be Christian”.

One of his many books, The Unknown Christ of Hinduism (1964, 1981) was an important step in the growth of interfaith dialogue. He was a visiting professor at Harvard University from 1966 to 1987, from 1972 was chair of Comparative Religious Philosophy at the University of California,  and he led several interfaith groups working with  the United Nations and UNESCO. Finally he returned to Spain and founded Vivarium Foundation, a centre for intercultural studies. There he died there in 2010.

In a personal statement just before he died  he wrote: “Dear Friends …You have often heard me say that a person is a knot in a network of relationships; in taking my leave from you I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for having enriched me with the relationship I have had with each of you. I am also grateful to all of those who, either in person or through association, continue working to spread my message and the sharing of my ideals, even without me. Thankful for the gift of life which is only such if lived in communion with others: it is with this spirit that I have lived out my ministry.” Perhaps using his sutras as we pray can remind us of our human solidarity, each one of us a knot in a network of relationships, responsible for each other and with all living things on this planet, praying at this time from the heart of our Christian faith and so with open hearts and minds. (better link)



Author: Editor 1 | Date: 4 November, 2021 | Category: Chaplain's Blog COP26 | Comments: 3

Comments on "Praying for 10 min each day at 8am with GC via Zoom in COP26"

Andrew Herbert Norman:

November 7, 2021

The poems by Wendell Berry I read on Sunday 'This Day: Collected and New Sabbath Poems' I and II 1979. See the lovely interview with him: The blessing was from John O'Donohue's ' Benedictus' In Praise of the Earth.

Andrew Norman:

November 5, 2021

This recent article will help!

Alison Blenkinsop:

November 5, 2021

I would like to know where I can read more easily the 9 sutras of Raimon Panikkar. They are very unclear in the pdf, and don't seem to match what you are reading - do you have access to a short version? Thanks!

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