This volume on Interreligious Spirituality in memory of Swami Joseph Samarakone is very opportune and welcome. Swami Samarakone was a great lover of India, particularly Tamil, spiritual tradition and one of the pioneers of inculturation of spirituality and of the ashram movement in India. His papers witness to the depth of his knowledge and to his ardent commitment to interreligious dialogue. His was a dialogue of life, inspiring many who either visited his ashram or who attended the seminars he participated in. This collection of his papers guarantees his enduring presence and continuing influence. It will also inspire those who come after him to continue his mission in more creative and relevant ways with the same enthusiasm that he had. The second part of the volume assures us that his confreres and friends are assimilating and carrying on his charism in new and ever pertinent ways. May God be with them!
Dr. Arockiasamy Rayappan is a catholic priest belonging to St. Eugene Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI). He holds a doctorate in Philosophy from the Pontifical University of Lateranesis, Rome. He has M.A in Christian Studies from the University of Madras, Chennai. India and a Diploma in Formation from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Rome. He teaches Philosophy and Anthropology at the De Mazenod Institute of Philosophy and various other Institutions in India. He is a visiting professor to Holy Spirit Major Seminary. Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Dr. Harry Immanuel is a catholic priest belonging to St. Eugene Province of the Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate (OMI). He has obtained a doctorate in Philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Rome. He holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Madras, Chennai, India. He is at present the Rector of the De Mazenod Institute of Philosophy. Parambakkam, Tamil Nadu, India. He is a visiting professor of Philosophy to Morning Star College, Kolkata, West Bengal and various other Institutes of Philosophy in India.
I am indeed very glad to write a forward to this
book: "A New Vision of Inter-Religious Spirituality" - a
memorial volume on Swami Joseph A. Samarakone OMI,
who had been my mentor and formator.
Swami Joseph A. Samarakone OMI, though a
missionary from Sri Lanka, immersed fully in the cultural,
religious and spiritual tradition of our mother land, India,
lived just like any other sannyasi (monk) of our land and
dedicated his life and all his works to build relations
between people of different faiths, promote peace and
harmony among all people and to build God’s kingdom
As we, the Oblates in India, celebrate the golden
jubilee of our presence in India, remember with gratitude,
the founding fathers namely Frs. Immanuel Mariyam Pillai
OMI and Phillip Stanislas, OMI and other Oblates from
our mother province, Sri Lanka, we are all the more happy
to remember with gratitude Swami Joseph A Samarakone
OMI for his 42 years of missionary life and his enormous
contribution towards the growth of our province. He
was Delegation Superior, Rector, Formator, Teacher and
above all a forerunner and champion of inculturation and
inter-faith dialogue. Out of 76 years of his life, 42 years of
missionary life in India is something marvellous and out
of these 42 years, 25 years of Ashram life and his dialogue
ministry is something noteworthy. It is the person of Swami
Joseph Samarakone and the birth of ashram "Aanmodaya"
in Kancheepuram that has given us the Oblates in India,
a new identity and a new mission in the multi- religious
context of India. Not only the oblates in India but also the
oblates all over the world are very proud of the person of
Swami Joseph Samarakone and we owe much gratitude to
him for his unique contribution towards building peace,
harmony and unity among all the peoples of God.
The following are the highlights of Swami Joseph
Samarakone’s life and mission.
No doubt! We have witnessed to all these remarkable
qualities and works of Swami Samarakone and they are
stimulus to our present and future life and mission.
Although Swami Samarakone wanted to see this book
during his life time, the Oblates who were working with
him for the same, after his death, felt very strongly the
need to bring out a memorial volume on him. Surely,
swami Samarakone’s wish and desire comes to fulfilment
with this work. I appreciate and thank Frs. Rayappan OMI,
Harry Immanuel OMI and Chinnappan Mariasusai OMI
for their initiative, effort and hard work and I do thank all
others who have helped in the completion of this work.
For the realization of this work many scholars,
friends, associates and students of swami Samarakone have
contributed their scholarly writings. Their contribution
indeed is complimentary to swami Samarakone’s thoughts
and reflections. I appreciate and thank all of them for their
love and support to Swami Samarakone and for their great
contributions towards this work.
Swami Samarakone, as someone dedicated to
building peace and harmony, deserves this honour and
respect. Definitely, he through his very life and ministry
has shown the church in India and the people of other faiths
the way to peaceful and harmonious living and the way
to building a new society - Kingdom of God. Surely this
book as a memorial volume on swami Samarakone, OMI
will inspire and enrich many who are into the ministry
of inculturation and dialogue and those who are into the
great mission of building God’s kingdom.
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