Kuruvilla Pandikattu

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Kuruvilla Pandikattu Joseph
Pandikattu in 2004
Born (1957-11-28) 28 November 1957 (age 63)
Areekara, Kerala, India
Other namesKuruvila Pandikattu
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern Philosophy
  • Idols to Die, Symbols to Live: Paul Ricoeur (1996)
  • Dialogue as Way of Life: Bede Griffiths (1995)
Doctoral advisorEmerich Coreth(PhD Philosophy) Lothar Lies (PhD Theology)
Main interests
Notable ideas
  • "Ever approachable, Never Attainable"
  • "Dialog as Way of Life"
  • "Between Before and Beyond"

Kuruvilla Pandikattu (born 28 November 1957) is an Indian Jesuit priest and Professor of Philosophy, Science and Religion at Jnana Deepa, Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Pune, Maharashtra, India.[1] He is also Director of JDV Centre for Science-Religion Studies (JCSR) and Association of Science, Society and Religion (ASSR), Pune.

He has authored/edited thirty-six books and written more than 160 academic articles. He has been involved as co-founder and co-publisher with two journals, Jnanadeepa: Pune Journal of Religious Studies and AUC: Asian Journal of Religious Studies. Further, he has organised more than forty academic conferences. His weekly column on "Contemporary Spirituality" appears on Tuesdays in Financial Chronicle.[2] He has been contributing regularly to both academic and popular journals.[3]

He is involved in science-religion dialogue and science-related activities,[4] in which topic he has been teaching four courses. His areas of interest (and specialisation) include: Science-Religion Dialogue;[5] Philosophical Anthropology (Emerich Coreth); Hermeneutics (Paul Ricœur) and Inter-religious dialogue (Bede Griffiths).

Philosophical approach[edit]

The two starting points of his academic research works are in physics and religion: quest for the unification of the fourfold forces of nature in physics and the hermeneutics of dialogue in Paul Ricoeur.[6] This led him to seek further the interpretative and symbolic (or mythic) nature of religious experience and resulted in his first doctoral thesis: "Idols to die, so that symbols might live". He traces the idol-symbol tension in every aspect of human experience.

Dialogue as Way of Life[edit]

Then he look up the dialogical dimension of not only of religions, but also of human existence. So his second doctoral thesis on Bede Griffiths was published under the title, "Dialog as Way of Life." Further, he took up issues in science-religion dialogue, which according to him is "not an option but an obligation" for the very survival of the human species. This calls for radial commitment. Two main areas of his research are physical immortality[7] and viable or sustainable life-style.[8][9]

God as "Ever Approachable, Never Attainable"[edit]

This infinite or God (also The Reality) is the enticing and elusive dimension of our human life. God is ever approachable, but never attainable exhaustively. Like the horizon, that invites and cajoles us and recedes from us, God is always near and far at the same time. He bases this insight on scientific details like the lowest temperature reachable (t →0) and knowing that the beginning of Big Bang (T →0) and is like the "horizon",[10] which is never fully attainable.

Reality as Relational and Paradoxical[edit]

He says that reality is relational and at the same time paradoxical. The paradox of love is that when two people, who have accepted their own emptiness and recognises their own nothingness, affirm each other, there emerges authentic love, that is infinite. Thus, when one truly looks at reality, accepts its nothingness (even absurdity) there emerges traces of infinity. That is the paradoxical beauty of love and of our existence.[11]

Major Activities[edit]

He has been actively involved in science-religion dialogue.[12] He is interested in looking at both science and religion critically and creatively,[13] so that they can enrich each other and the humanity. In this area he has delivered numerous lectures, written numerous articles and books and organised conferences.[14]


  • Editor, Jnanadeepa: Pune Journal of Religious Studies
  • Editor, AUC: Asian Journal of Religious Studies


Scholarly Books (14)[edit]

  • Light for Life: Spiritual Insights for Contemporary World. 2020.[15] ISBN 9789388945639
  • Ever Approachable, Never Attainable: Science-Religion Dialogue in India. 2016. ISBN 978-8188360307
  • Gratefully and Gracefully: Scientific and Religious Reflections on Death and Beyond. 2014. ISBN 978-8188360017
  • Elusive Transcendence: An Exploration of the Human Condition Based on Paul Ricoeur. 2014. ISBN 978-1565182950
  • Between Beneath, Before and Beyond: An Exploration of the Human Condition Based on Paul Ricoeur. 2013. ISBN 978-8188360024
  • The Human Search: Issues in Philosophical Anthropology." 2011. ISBN 978-3844325706
  • Surplus, Subversion, Submission: A Contemporary Study of Paul Ricoeur's Symbol, Metaphor and Parable. 2011. ISBN 978-3844333541
  • The Bliss of Being Human: Science and Religion for Self-realisation. 2004. ISBN 9788188864003
  • Religion@scientist.com. Pune: Jnanam, 2001.
  • Religious Dialogue as Hermeneutics: Bede Griffiths' Advaitic Approach. Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change Series Iiib, South Asia Vol 3. Washington: Research in Values and Philosophy, 2001.[16]
  • Dialogue as the Way of Life: Bede Griffiths’ Attempt at Integrating Religions, Cultures and Sciences. Mumbai: Zen Publications, 2001. ISBN 9781929924097
  • Meaning through Science and Religion. Pune: JDV, 2000.
  • Idols to Die, Symbols to Live: Dynamic Interaction between Language, Reality and the Divine. New Delhi: Intercultural Pub, 1999. OCLC 45499558
  • Metaphorising of Reality. Pune: Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, 1997. OCLC 607347087.

Scholarly Books (Edited; 24)[edit]

  • Have Courage, I am with You: Christian Responses to Covid-19.2020. ISBN 978-93-8898-960-2
  • Fully Human and Fully Alive: Essays on Being Human Today in Honour of Dr Cyril Desbruslais SJ. 2020.ISBN 9789351484165
  • Fully Spiritual, Fully Human - Fostering Diverse Spiritual Experiences: Essays in Honour of Dr Stephen Chundanthadam SJ. 2020. ISBN 9789351484080
  • The Philosophy of God: Faith and Traditions. 2019. ISBN 9789351483779
  • Logic and Love: Reflecting on Professor John Vattanky's Contribution to Indian Philosophy and Spirituality. 2019. ISBN 9789351483717
  • Everything is Interrelated: Christian Trinity and Hindu Advaita as Experienced by Raimundo Panikkar and Francis D'Sa SJ. 2019. ISBN 9789388945127
  • Metaphysics: Philosophy of Be-ing for Today. 2019. ISBN 9789351483632
  • Melodies from the Flute: Dialogue among Religions and Cultures. 2019. ISBN 9789351483250
  • Epistemology and Phenomenology of Religions: Creative Insights into Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue. 2018. ISBN 9789351483175
  • The Indian Ending: Rediscovering the Grandeur of Indian Heritage for a Sustainable Future : Essays in Honour of Professor Dr. John Vattanky SJ on Completing Eighty Years. 2013. ISBN 9788183875936
  • The Philosophy of Liberation: Revisiting Genuine Religious Experiences with Special Reference to Christianity. 2017. ISBN 9789351481294
  • The Dancing Peacock: Indian Insights into Religion and Development.2010. ISBN 9788183873413* Depth of Death Scientific Insights Religious Openness. 2010. ISBN 978-8183873987
  • Dancing to Diversity: Science-Religion Dialogue in India. 2008. ISBN 9788183871945
  • Lifting up the Spirit, Uplifting the Body: Interfacing Religion, Spirituality and Social Work in India. Pune: Samajdarshan Prakashan, 2013. Edited with Suresh Pathare. ISBN 9788190829014
  • Committed to the Church and the Country: Reflections on Christian Living in India in Honour of Professor Kurien Kunnumpuram SJ. Delhi: ISPCK, 2013. Edited with James Ponniah and Thomas Kuriacose. ISBN 978-8184652925
  • Postmodernity: An Indian Appraisal. 2008. ISBN 978-81-8387-200-3
  • Reasons for Hope: Its Nature, Role and Future. (Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change Series IIIB, South Asia Vol 10) Washington: Research in Values and Philosophy, 2005.ISBN 978-1565182165
  • Gandhi, Ganga, Giriraj. Ahmedabad: Navajivan Pub, 2004.(associate editor with Lachman M. Khubchandani & Siddharth N. Bhatt) ISBN 978-8172293444
  • Bend Without Fear: Hopes and Possibilities for an Indian Church: Essays in Honour of Professor Kurien Kunnumpuram SJ. New Delhi: ISPCK, 2003. Edited with Rosario Rocha. ISBN 978-8172147099
  • Religion, Society and Economics. Frankfurt u.a.: P. Lang, 2003. (with A. Vonach)[17] ISBN 9783631399552
  • Hopefully Yours… Pune: Jnanam, 2002 (CD).
  • Let Life Be. Pune: Jnanam, 2002 (CD).
  • Dreams and Visions: New Horizons for an Indian Church: Essays in Honour of Professor Kurien Kunnumpuram SJ. Pune: JDV, 2002. Edited with Rosario Rocha ISBN 978-1459625471
  • Human Longing and Fulfilment: East Encounters West. Pune: JDV, 2002 (with Josef Quitterer).
  • Gandhi: The Meaning of Mahatma for the Millennium. (Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change Series Iiib, South Asia Vol 5.) Washington: Research in Values and Philosophy, 2001. ISBN 978-1565181564

Popular Books (15)[edit]

  • (Ed.) The What and So What of the God Particle.Pune: JDV Centre for Science-Religion Studies, 2012.
  • Life as Love. New Delhi: Media House, 2005 (Revised edition of Promises of Love). ISBN 9780970978233.
  • This Too will Pass Away! The Scientific Explanation and Religious Experience of Time Based on Michael Ende’s Momo. Jnanam, Pune: 2003. ISBN 9780970978240.
  • Promises of Love. Jnanam, Pune: 2003. ISBN 9780970978240
  • TAMAS (There Are Many Alternative Stories). Mumbai: World-Web-Life, 2002.ISBN 0970978200.
  • Promises of Life (with K. Suriano) New Delhi: Media House, 2001. ISBN 978-8174951038.
  • (Ed.) Pope Francis on Creation and Evolution Pune: Jnanam & Association of Science, Society and Religion, 2014. ISBN 978-8188864249. Booklet.
  • (Ed.) Laudato Si': Reflections and Responses Pune: Jnanam & JDV Centre for Science-Religion Studies, 2015. ISBN 978-8188864256. Booklet.

Book in His Honour[edit]

  • Science-Religion Dialogue and Its Contemporary Relevance: Interdisciplinary Essays in Honour of Prof Dr Kuruvilla Pandikattu. Binoy Pickalakkattu (Ed). 2018. ISBN 978-9386516350

Early life and influences[edit]

Pandikattu was born in Areekara, Kerala, India.[18] He was born to Uthuppan and Mary Joseph.[19] He had his early education at Government LP School, Veliyannoor (1962–65) and St. Rockey's U.P. School, Areekara (1965–70). Then he pursued his basic studies at Sacred Heart School, Changanashery, Kerala (1970–73).

After completing School Secondary Leaving Certificate (S.S.L.C.) at Changanashery, he left for Guhiajori, Dumka, Bihar (now Jharkhand). Other places of his studies are: St. Xavier's School, Sahibganj (1976–78); Loyola College, Chennai (1978–81); St. Joseph's College, Trichy (1981–83); Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune (1983–85), and University of Pune (1988–91).[20]


  1. ^ Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (2010), Handbook and Calendar, Pune: JDV, p. 20.
  2. ^ http://www.mydigitalfc.com/2008/kuruvilla-pandikattu-sj
  3. ^ http://www.smartcompanion.in/client/index.php
  4. ^ See Mialil, John (2008) Wonders in Nature, New Delhi: Media House, 2008, pp. 121–130.
  5. ^ It may be noted that together with Prof Job Kozhamthadam, he has started the first Master's Programme in Science and Religion at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, India. See also Kozhamthadam, Job (2002) Contemporary Science and Religion in Dialogue, Pune: ASSR, pp.98–111.
  6. ^ Idols to Die, Symbols to Live (Paul Ricoeur). Interculturual. 1999.
  7. ^ See https://sites.google.com/site/kurusj/articles
  8. ^ Kuruvilla Pandikattu, "Global Village vs Gandhian Villages: A Viable Vision," See https://books.google.com/books?id=YrGadHsc1bUC&pg=PA171&lpg=PA171&dq=viable+or+sustainable+life-style+pandikattu&source=bl&ots=esgCrSb21f&sig=8IsOmubP9enLNHf3yREFKqs0gAk&hl=en&ei=7HtWTaf9L5DSrQeE-pzWBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=viable%20or%20sustainable%20life-style%20pandikattu&f=false
  9. ^ "Kuruvilla Pandikattu" See http://www.counterbalance.org/bio/kuru-frame.html
  10. ^ "Ever Approachable ... - Kuruvilla Pandikattu".
  11. ^ See http://www.fig.usv.ro/socio-umane/arhiva/2010I.pdf
  12. ^ http://www.science-religion-news.org/regular-courses.asp
  13. ^ "Sapnaonline:Search Page".
  15. ^ "Kuruvilla Pandikattu Joseph - Authored Books". sites.google.com. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  16. ^ Read online http://www.crvp.org/book/Series03/IIIB-3/contents.htm
  17. ^ Read the Review online http://www.acton.org/sites/v4.acton.org/files/pdf/7.2.573-575.REVIEW.%20Pandikattu,%20Kuruvilla%20and%20Vonach,%20Andreas--Religion,%20Society,%20and%20Economics.pdf
  18. ^ Directory South Asia, New Delhi: JCSA, 2010, p. 47
  19. ^ He is the oldest of 4 children from his mother but has two older sisters from his father's previous marriage. He has an younger brother who has two children, a sister with three children who came to America in the early 80's, and he also has another sister who has two children, Christy Joseph and Sherin Joseph. He once quoted his true inspiration came from his niece Meera Joseph.
  20. ^ His early intellectual life has been influenced by inspiring figures like Emmanuel Stellini (English, Sahibganj, Jharkhand), Prof Joseph Inchackal (Physics, Chennai) Prof G.A. Savariraj (Physics: Trichy), Prof Salvino Azzopardi (JDV, philosophy, Pune) and R. Sundararajan (Philosophy, University of Pune). Right from the beginning of his academic life, interests in physics and philosophy have accompanied him.

External links[edit]