Richard DeSmet


Is interreligious dialogue as we understand and practise it today a concept which can help us discern better the nature of Father Robert de Nobili's undertaking in sixteenth century madurai and enrich ourselves from his experience? Was he not above all a religious guide, a guru known as Tattuva Podagar (the 'awakener to metempirical reality')? Is not this the title by which, on January 6, 1656, ten days before his death, he authenticated the twenty volumes of olas which despite his blindness he had dictated in his San Thomé retreat? Had he not endeavoured constantly to proclaim the saving truth of the Gospel rather than simply keeping up a Hindu-Christian dialogue? But let us turn for a moment to the notion of interreligious dialogue.

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