Oxymoric (language)


R. Panikkar, as he seeks to make a new theology, is a re-creator of traditional theological language, with which he is so familiar. His fundamental supposition is the radical inadequacy of all language about God. Of his capacity to create new forms of language, Panikkar speaks of an oxymoric language: sharp, pointed, incisive – blunt, inert, crazy … “penetrating madness”. He has understood the profound experience by which humanity has come to call God by many names more as a symbol than as a concept. God certainly has a face – he says – it is that which is manifested in our faces and shines taboricly when we don’t try to supplant him with our physiognomies” (“Los rostros de Dios” [Epílogo], Los Rostros de Dios, Facies Deitatis, Compostela, 2000).

When reading RP and trying to adequately understand his philosophy-theology about God we must always keep in mind that desire to seek a paradoxical, oxymoric language, in short, one which relativizes itself and the very finite concepts it makes use of. Panikkar speaks of a “God who is a non-objectifiable symbol, irreducible to a concrete object or subject, thereby escaping all objectification, who at once reveals and hides himself.


Raimon Panikkar

official site

“Writing, to me, is intellectual life
and also spiritual expirience…
it allows me to ponder deeply the mistery of reality.”