Homeomorphic equivalencies


Homeomorphic equivalencies are "functional equivalencies" or deep correspondences going beyond simple analogy that can be established between words and concepts belonging to distinct religions or cultures. It is what RP has called “functional analogy of the third degree”, where neither the meaning nor the function are the same, but they are similar. For example, God and Brahman, or Christ of the Christians and Ishvara of Hinduism. “By homeomorphism we mean the ‘topological’ function or corresponding analogue (a functional equivalent) within another system” (The Unknown Christ of Hinduism, London 1981- Bangalore 1998).
Homeomorphic equivalence seems to be a very adequate conceptual tool, since, on the one hand it allows the specificity of each religious configuration to be respected while, on the other hand, making it possible to build bridges between such configurations without falling into mistaken comparisons.


Raimon Panikkar

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