My most recent work, The Advaita Worldview: God, World and Humanity, exemplifies two related movements. First, I join the growing stream of scholars who are making efforts to distinguish the interpretations of Sankara from later Advaita exegetes. The uncritical equation of Sankara's views with those of later exegetes needs to be challenged. Second, I contend that Advaita reflection and scholarship cannot limit itself to the clarification of Sankara's interpretations. These interpretations must also be critically evaluated in order for the tradition to be relevant and creative. It is problematic to assume that Sankara was immune from historical influences, cultural presuppositions and his stage in life as a renunciant. The latter is particularly important since renunciation traditionally implied specific attitudes to the world, community and family that inform his reading of texts and the possibilities of meaning. A renunciant brings different questions and concerns to these texts than a householder, and the renunciant reading of the Upanisads has been the dominant one. The traditional reverence for Sankara and his deified position in the Advaita lineage ought not to exclude critical questions and historical inquiry. His monumental contributions can be both gratefully acknowledged and interrogated.
"Rethinking Advaita: Who is Eligible to Read Advaita Texts?,"
Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies:
Vol. 22, Article 6.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.7825/2164-6279.1433