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Document Details :
Title: The Pontifical Thought of Jan Van Bragt (1928-2007)
Author(s): HEISIG, James W.
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Date: 2007
For over forty-five years Jan Van Bragt (1928-2007) labored as one of the pioneers of interreligious dialogue in Japan, leaving behind him an impressive body of written work, most of it having to do with the intellectual and spiritual encounter between Christianity and Japanese Buddhism. The present article presents an overview of his writings, focusing on the bridges Van Bragt strived to cast between established traditions, between philosophy and theology, between doctrine and religious reality, and between the mystical and the everyday. Special attention is drawn to the way in which the lived, existential needs of religious believers need to be understood not only in terms of the particular heritage of symbols and teachings to which they are affiliated but also in terms of the wider needs of the human community. As such, this is a task that no one tradition can handle on its own; it requires a commitment to interdependence among religions and a corresponding humility towards received habits of faith and theological reflection.