The passing away of Richard De Smet on 2 March 1997 marks the loss of one of the twentieth century's giants in Hindu-Christian dialogue. A Belgian by birth, Father De Smet, as he was generally known, or simply Father Richard, was a Jesuit priest and professor who established himself in India from the 1950s onward as a leader in the philosophical encounter of Hindu and Christian thought. His greatest area of expertise was in Sankara's Advaita Vedanta, and much of his life's work was devoted to reconciling what he considered to be the authentic teachings of Sankara with Christian thinking on ontology and liberation.

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