Francis X. Clooney, S. J., is Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology at Harvard Divinity School. His many books include Seeing through Texts, also published by SUNY Press.
"In two respects this is a truly original book. First, it elaborates the fundamental truth that people and communities live from the word of scripture, not from doctrines to which scriptures tend to be reduced. Second, this book refuses to take a higher view in theories applied to scriptures. Second, this book refuses to take a higher view in the History of Religions by passing superficially attractive judgments on either Christianity or Hinduism. It does not take sides with either dogmatism or liberalism, and its impartiality is modest. The author does not attack any side; he appreciates, compares, and then seeks such theological illumination as the process of appreciation and comparison warrants.
"The message addressed to Catholic theologians deserves careful attention. My hunch is that history-of-religions scholars, some of whom are former Christians with chips on their shoulders, can learn a lot about just what kind of commitment is necessary to take non-Christian religious traditions seriously.
"I think Clooney's approach holds real promise for interreligious dialogue because it operates from within the setting of an encounter between strange and seemingly incompatible worlds. It refuses to adopt for its point of departure, an imperious general theory about the possible significance that any religion could have. This is an exercise in theological neighborliness, not summitry. " — Frans Jozef van Beeck, S. J., John Cardinal Cody Professor of Catholic Theology, Loyola University
"The most important aspect is the recognition and the demonstration that 'Vedanta' as a conceptual scheme cannot be comprehended without knowledge of the presuppositions, postulates, and epistemological instruments of Purva Mimamsa. No one, to my knowledge, ever argued this out properly before Clooney. " — Sheldon Pollock, George V. Bobrinskoy Professor of Sanskrit and Indic Studies, and Chair of the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago