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A. J. Appasamy and his Reading of RāmānujaA Comparative Study in Divine Embodiment$
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Brian Philip Dunn

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791416

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791416.001.0001

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Recovering Rāmānuja’s Tradition

Recovering Rāmānuja’s Tradition

Chapter:
(p.180) 5 Recovering Rāmānuja’s Tradition
Source:
A. J. Appasamy and his Reading of Rāmānuja
Author(s):

Brian Philip Dunn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791416.003.0005

Chapter 5 is an exploration of how Appasamy’s reading of Rāmānuja has changed over the course of his career. His early construction of Rāmānuja as ‘philosopher’ is contrasted with his later understanding of him as a ‘theologian’. Following a synopsis of the mature Appasamy’s understanding of Rāmānuja’s theological system, as was done for Appasamy and his Anglican tradition, through scholarly proponents of the Śrīvaiṣṇava tradition Rāmānuja’s system is reconsidered in his Śrīrangam context. An emphatically temple-based devotion emerges in contrast to Appasamy’s more philosophically abstract constructions of Rāmānuja’s Vedānta. More specifically, the ‘five modes’ of the Pāñcarātra Āgamas shed light on the centrality of the arcavatāra, the ‘supreme’ but ‘accessible’ temple deity of Śrīvaiṣṇava bhakti. Appasamy’s Christian application of the avatāra is then reconsidered in view of this and along with it the need to recover a narrative frame for theology.

Keywords:   Rāmānuja, Śrīvaiṣṇava, Śaṅkara, Pāñcarātra Āgamas, temple, Viśiṣṭādvaita, mūrti, arcāvatāra

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