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This profile was last updated on 2/21/12  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Raimundo Panikkar

Wrong Dr. Raimundo Panikkar?

Founder and Director

Local Address: Santa Barbara, California, United States
Center for Cross-Cultural Religious Studies

Employment History

  • Priest
    Opus Dei?
  • Assistant To the Associate Director
    Opus Dei?
  • Founder and Director
  • Associate Director
  • Chair of Comparative Religious Philosophy
    University of California
  • Lecturer
    Gifford Lectures
  • Professor of Philosophy
    University of Madrid
  • Roman Catholic Priest
    University of Madrid
  • Parish Priest
    University of Madrid
  • Professor


  • Indian philosophy and religion
    Banaras Hindu University
  • Indian philosophy and religion
    University of Mysore
  • doctorates , science , philosophy and theology
42 Total References
Web References
Gifford Lecture Series - Biography - Raimon Panikkar, 21 Feb 2012 [cached]
Raimon Panikkar | Raimon Panikkar | Raimundo Panikkar Gifford Lecture Series - Biography - Raimon Panikkar
Gifford Lectures
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In 1966 Panikkar took a position as visiting professor at Harvard University. For the next 21 years he taught during spring semesters in the United States and did research in India the rest of the year. He also held the chair of Comparative Religious Philosophy at the University of California in Santa Barbara (1971-1987) where he is still Emeritus Professor. In addition to being both Warner Lecturer (1978, 1981) and Gifford Lecturer (1988-1989), Panikkar has taught and lectured all over the world. He is the founder and director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Religious Studies in Santa Barbara, California, and of Vivarium, Centre d'Estudis Intercultural in Tavertet, Catalonia. Since 1993 he has also been president of the Sociedad Española de Ciencias de las Religiones in Madrid. In 1960 he was one of the founders of the NGO Pax Romana, which protects the rights and dignity of people all over the globe. He has participated in consultations for UNESCO and many other academic institutions. He was twice the special envoy for the Indian government on cultural missions to South America. Among the many awards and honorary degrees he has received are Premio spagnolo di letteratura (1961), Creu de Sant Jordi de la Generalitat de Catalunya (1999), an appointment as Chevalier des Art set des Lettres by the French government (2000), Dottore honoris causa of the University of the Balearic Islands (1997) and of the theology faculty at the University of Tübingen and the sociology faculty at the University of Urbino (2005). In addition the University of California gives the Raimundo Panikkar Award in Comparative Religions to the highest-achieving philosophy student. Panikkar moved to Tavertet (Osona), Catalonia, in 1987, where he remains active with courses, seminars and meetings on philosophical, religious and cultural subjects. He has published dozens of books, mainly in Catalan, Castilian, Italian and English, which were then translated into French, German, Chinese, Portuguese, Czechoslovakian, Dutch and Tamil. He has also written hundreds of articles. Some of his works include The "Crisis" of Madhyamika and Indian Philosophy Today (1966); Worship and Secular Man (1973); The Trinity and the Religious Experience of Man: Icon-Person-Mystery (1973); The Vedic Experience: Mantramañjari: An Anthology of the Vedas for Modern Man (1977); Myth, Faith and Hermeneutics: Cross Cultural Studies (1979); The Unknown Christ of Hinduism: Towards An Ecumenical Christophany (1981); Blessed Simplicity: The Monk as a Universal Archetype (1984); The Silence of God: The Answer of the Buddha (rev. ed., 1989); The Cosmotheandric Experience: Emerging Religious Consciousness (1993); A Dwelling Place for Wisdom (1993); Invisible Harmony: Essays on Contemplation and Responsibility, ed.
Beyond the Threshold A Life in Opus Dei, 30 Aug 2007 [cached]
I was an assistant to Arbor's associate director, Raimundo Panikkar.
When I was introduced to him, I was quite surprised to find a priest in such a major cultural post. I was even more surprised that he was an Indian with a Catalonian accent. Although only recently ordained and still a young man of twenty-eight, he was highly regarded at the CSIC as one of its founders. Everyone considered him brilliant... He was kind, although extremely serious with the staff of Arbor, with whom he very seldom used more words than those essential for greetings and work.
"And that Dr. Panikkar is a priest of Opus Dei?"
And since I had such a positive opinion of Dr. Panikkar, I was angry to learn that he was an Opus Dei priest.
The possibility of talking directly with Dr. Panikkar regarding Opus Dei and its control of the CSIC was little less than utopian...
An opportunity presented itself, however, when Dr. Panikkar asked me to work the following Saturday, since he had a backlog of correspondence that had to be answered. After three hours of dealing with his correspondence, Dr. Panikkar suddenly said: "May I ask you why you work here?"
Astonished at the question, I said that I was planning to get married the following year and hoped to make my fiance's absence more bearable by working at something that interested me.
Dr. Panikkar made no comment, and we resumed our work. When we finished at lunch time, and I was locking the doors, he started another conversation, this time about Barcelona, where he had been recently.
"The weather was beautiful there," he said.
"I am not asking you to make your retreat under my guidance," Dr. Panikkar continued calmly. "What I meant was that you can have a week off at that time."
There was an embarrassed silence on my part. I did not know whether I should apologize because of my reply or how to pursue the conversation.
Finally Dr. Panikkar broke the silence with the question:
"All right, all right," Dr. Panikkar said slowly. "Thank you for coming today. I think that we will have to talk about this matter again. And with his usual formal smile, he walked away.
...when I came to work the following Monday, Father Panikkar greeted me affably, saying he was ready to resume our discussion. "Would you please explain to me your negative attitude to Opus Dei? he asked gently. I recounted all the things I had heard about Opus Dei: that it was a "freemasonry" [1] because of its mysterious way of doing things such as not disclosing the identity of its members... That Opus Dei plotted to "capture" chairs at the university, hoping to preserve them for members and were ruthless about getting rid of anyone who was in their way ...
Father Panikkar heard me out without betraying any emotion, [2] but his reply, when it came, was forceful:
Somehow, the assurance with which Father Panikkar spoke [2] was more convincing to me than the accusations I had just made.
Not Our Kids, Opus Dei! - Part II, 4 July 2007 [cached]
When her fiancé accepted a job in Morocco, Tapia remained in Madrid and began work at Arbor, the general cultural journal of the Council of Scientific Research, as assistant to the associate director, Opus Dei’s Fr. Raimundo Panikkar, a British citizen of India, and a master of languages, both modern and classical.
Panikkar convinced Tapia that the negative reports about Opus Dei were nothing but slander.
Raimon Panikkar, 91, Dies - IRFWP, 5 Dec 2010 [cached]
Mr. Panikkar was a Roman Catholic priest and a professor of philosophy at the University of Madrid when he made his first trip to India in 1954. It was a turning point in his spiritual life and a homecoming of sorts: his father was a Hindu from the south of India who had married a Spanish Roman Catholic.
While studying Indian philosophy and religion at the University of Mysore and Banaras Hindu University, Mr. Panikkar befriended several Western monks seeking Eastern forms for the expression of their Christian beliefs. It was an eye-opening experience.
"I left Europe as a Christian, I discovered I was a Hindu and returned as a Buddhist without ever having ceased to be Christian," he later wrote.
Read more
Professor Panikkar was a good friend and supporter of the Inter Religious Federation for World Peace.
Perhaps Panikkar's most magical occasion with IRFWP was his on stage debate with Huston Smith at the IRFWP New Delhi Congress: Seeking Global Harmony through Inter-Religious Action, New Delhi, India, February 1st to 7th, 1993, commemorating the centenary of the 1893 Chicago Parliament.
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Raimon Panikkar, 18 May 2006 [cached]
Panikkar was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1946.He worked as a Parish Priest and Professor at the University of Madrid between 1946 and 1953.In 1953 he left Spain to live in India where he first taught at the University of Mysore.
Raimon Panikkar, Varanasi (ca. 1965)
Between 1964 and 1976 he lived in Varanasi, where he taught at the Banaras Hindu University and worked on an anthology of the Vedas in English ("The Vedic Experience") and other books.During this time he was in close contact with Swami Abhishiktananda.
Raimon Panikkar and Abhishiktananda in Varanasi
For the first time he gained international attention for the publication of his theological thesis "The Unknown Christ of Hinduism" (London 1964).In the late 1960s he first taught Comparative Religions at the Harvard Divinity School (1967-71), afterwards he was Professor for Comparative Religion and Philosophy of Religion at University of California Santa Barbara, Religious Studies Department.He retired in the 1990s and returned to Spain where he currently lives.He is president of the Center for Intercultural Studies "Vivarium" and consultant for interreligious dialogue of the UNESCO.In 1988/89 he gave the renowned Gifford Lectures (since 1888) at the University of Edinburgh under the title "Trinity and Atheism.The Housing of the Divine in the Contemporary World".The publication ("The Rhythm of Being") is under preparation.In February 2002 he was honored at an international symposium organized by UNESCO Catalunya entitled "The Intercultural Philosophy of Raimon Panikkar", and with the Medal of the Italian Republic.
Beverly J. Lanzetta: The Godhead as a theological foundation of interreligious dialogue: drawn from the writings of Meister Eckhart and Raimundo Panikkar (Doct. thesis, Fordham University New York, 1988).
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