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The unity of European and Hindu mediev al cosmological models

Subject and Keywords:

medieval cosmological models   philosophy   theology   indology   cosmology   God   universe   Hildegard of Bingen   Bhagavata-purana   Liber divinorum operum


Article „The unity of European and Hindu medieval cosmological models” is an interdisciplinary undertaking of philosophy, theology and indology. Its goal is to look at the hypothesis of existing the common complex of ideas on which the cosmological models formed in medieval Europe and India are based and which are expressed in early medieval monastic theology of Hildegard of Bingen and Hindu epic text of Bhagavata-purana. In this article a hypothesis is formulated about the crucial unity of the complex of ideas behind both cosmological models (although in those times there were no scholar and cultural contacts between both civilization circles). However some crucial similarities found in the analyzed cosmological models let us formulate a hypothesis that there is a common complex of ideas behind them, which as the religious paradigm (Sallie McFague, 1982) sets the main courses of thought in both cultures of those times. Two authors (Bartosz Wieczorek and Andrzej Babkiewicz), experts in their fields present each of the traditions to see their „unity in diversity”. Thanks to such mutual looking at one tradition in the mirror of the other, each one of them could be better understood in itself because it is shown in broader interpretational context. The authors analyze the texts (Liber divinorum operum and Bhagavata-purana) from the perspective of the following subjects: 1. model of God – cognitive models behind the conceptualization of the Absolute; 2. model of a man – central role in the creation, man as the micro- and macrocosm etc.; 3. model of the universe – spherical structure, shape, presence of the elements, planetary spheres etc. In the article both cosmological models are compared, the philosophical and theological similarities and differences are correlated. The main scientific goal of this article is to find a fundamental complex of philosophical and theological ideas that stand behind the vision of the world existing in the European and Indian Middle Ages through the example of the works of Hildegard of Bingen and the text of the Bhagavatapurana. Verification of the hypothesis may have important social consequences, because it shows to the modern globalizing, intercultural and interreligious society that there is a crucial unity of ideas between even the distant civilization circles and this may form the foundation for dialog and cultural and social relations.


Instytut Studiów Klasycznych, Śródziemnomorskich i Orientalnych UWr



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czasopisma (wydawnictwa ciągłe)



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Copyright by Andrzej Babkiewicz, Bartosz Wieczorek   Copyright by Instytut Studiów Klasycznych, Śródziemnomorskich i Orientalnych