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Radhakrishnan'sandBrunner's

Anthropologies:aComparison
K.C.MATHEW
I
INTRODUCTION
Radhakrishnan posits the Absolute as the ground of the universe. The
qualitylessAbsoluteisparadoxicallyconceivedashavinganinfinitenumberof
possibilities. 1 The cosmic process is the actualization of one of these
possibilitiesbyGodwhoistheAbsoluteinrelationtothisparticularpossibility.
Thegoalofthecosmicprocessistheconsummationofthisactualization,or
themasteryoftheSelfoverthenotselfintowhichthisparticularpossibility
differentiateditselfasthebeginningoftheu.niverse.Thecosmicprocessis
evolutionaryincharacter.TheSelfisdrawing,asitwere,thenotselfasan
UnmovedMover'2throughthevariousstagesoflife,consciousnessandselfconsciousness.
Man,whoisselfconscious,isthelatestproductofthisemergentevolution.Thewholeprocess
.Can be called the evolution of the spirit because not-self or matter
represents the lowest depth to which the spirit has
descended.Itisonlyaform ofthespirit.3
Theexistingindividualis amicrocosmofthemacrocosm,a
synthesisofSelfandnotself,spiritandmatter.Thenotselfwhichhasevolvedto
theselfconsciouslevelistheempiricalselfofman.TheInnerSelfisthe Atman
whichisconsubstantialwiththeAbsolute. 4 TheSelfisstilldrawingthenotself
towards it. But as the notself is selfconscious in man, it bas to cooperate
consciouslyintheevolutionofthespirit.Themaladyofmanisthattheempirical
selfduetoavidyiiorignorancelovesitselfratherth:inthetrueself.5Thismalady
'Radhakrishnan,TheIdealistViewofLife,pp.
342345. .
Thisisthepresentauthor'sinterpretationof Radhakrishnan'sview.
He thinks that if Radhakrishnan's view is pushed to its logical conclusion, it could not mean
otherwise.
. Radhakrishnan, The Principal Upanisads, pp. 8687; 'Fragments
ofaConfession'(inThePhilosophyofSarvepalliRadhakiishnan,pp.3031).
TheIdealistViewofLife,pp.109,111,271.
Ibid.,p.111. .
I 29
results~ ~hetragedyofhisfallintofragmentariness:.B~twhentheempmcal
selfturnstotheInnerSelfthroughdisciplineandcontemplation,itgainsan
intuitiveawarenessofitsoQenesswiththetrueSelf.Thisisamomentary
mergingoftheempiricalselfintothe Atman afterwhichitreturnstoits
normalselfconsciousnessasanintegratedself.Thisexperienceofmomen
tarymetaphysicalidentitybringsaboutanintegrationoftheindividualself
becausetheintuitiveawarenessofidentitywiththetrueSelfinvolvesthe
activityofthewholeman.1Thosewhohaveteach~dthisstagearetheGod
men.ThegoalofthecosmicprocessistomakeallmenGodmen.
In contrast to the above view Brunner posits as the ground of the world the
personalGodwhocreateditexnihilo.Thecreatedorder,includingman,isontologically
distinctfromtheCreatorwhosuStainsitbyHispresenceandactivity.This
ontologicaldisco~tin'?tyisabso~ute.2 Ma~ is diff~rent fromthe
restofthecreationmthathe IScreatedmthermageofGod,whichisnotsubstantial
identitybutrelationalexistence.Maniscreatedinsuchawaythathecanhearthe
callofGodandansweritbyhisowndecision.Tobe intheimageofGodistobein
this'callandanswer'relation. 3Thusitisadependentandresponsibleexistence.
ButmanbylovinghisownselfmorethanGodhasfallenfromthisrightrelationship
withGod.Eachmanisa'fallenAdam'inhisactualexistence.Heisnolonger in
right;relationtoGod.Thegoalofhislifeistherestorationandperfectionofthe
imageofGod.
Thus,itisobviousthattheabsolutemetaphysicaldiscontinuityiscentral
in Brunner's world view, whereas continuity is the essence of all spiritual
wisdominRadhakrishnan'sphilosophy.Thisbasicdifferencedeterminestheir
viewsregardingtheknowledgeoftheultimatereality,thenatureanddestinyof
.man,evil,freedom,historyandsociety.

RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE

WhenRadhakrishnarispeaksabouttheknowledgeofhighestreality,
hereferstotheempiricalselfastheknowingsubjectandtheInnerSelfas
the'Obfect'tobeknown.ButtheInnerSelfisalwaysSubjectandnever
Object.4Sotheproblemofknowledgeishowcantheempiricalselfknow
theInnerSelf,whichisalwaysSubject.Theansweris':knowledge

'TheIdealistViewofLife,pp.211213;TheHinduViewofLife.p.15;EasternReligionsandWestern
Thought,p.24.
Brunner,The ChristianDoctrineof Creation.andRedemption.
pp.1920,30. . .
Brunner,The ScandalofChristianity,p. 59;ChristianityandCivil
ization, Vol. I, p. 78; The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Redemption~
p.59. .. .
Radhakrishnan, TheIdealistViewofLife,pp.27027L
30 IR
bybeing'.1TheempiricalselfcanknowtheInnerSelfbybecomingonewith
it.ItisanexperienceinwhichtheempiricalselflosesitselfintheInnerSelf
andndsitstruenatureasonewithit. 2 This experience is a momentary
foretaste of the next stage of human evolution. This is what
Radhakrishnan means
byintuitiveawareness.
The empiricalselflapsesback fromthisstateofpure
awareness ofidentityintoordinary consciousnessofsubject
objectdistinction.Butitreturnsrefreshedandilluminedwitha'neverto
beforgotten'.memoryoftheexperienceofpureSelfhood.Henceforthit
possesses.anunshakableconvictionthatitstruenatureisidenticalwith
thatof.AtmanorInnerSelf.3
Brunneralsoisfacedwithasimilarproblemofknowledgebecause
the 'Object' to be known (God) is always Subject and never an Object.
Moreover,themetaphysicaldiscontinuitybetweentheknowingsubjectand
the 'Object' to be lmown (God) is absolute. God is, therefore, wholly
inaccessibletoman'snaturalfacultiesforresearchanddiscovery. 4 This
discontinuity allows no room for 'knowledge by being, in his system.
Brunner'sanswertotheproblemisthattheEternalshouldbreakintothe
temporal;theInfiniteintotheniteandtheDivineintothehuman. 5Thisis
preciselywhathas.happenedinthe'Jesusevent'.TheEternalas'event',as
revelation,hasnohistoricalextension..Revelationisnottheextendedfact
inhistorywhichwecallthehistoricalpersonalityofJesus.Thehistorical
personalityofJesusisan incognito whichveilscompletelythecomplete
revelationofGodwhichcanbeseenonlybytheeyeoffaith. 6
TherevelationinJesusChristbecomesrevelationforrrieonlywhenIrecognizeJesusas
Christ.Inotherwordsrwelatior:i,asselfdisclosureofSubjecttosubject,hastwoaspects:
an'historicallyobjective'onetheincarnationoftheSonand
an'inwardlysubjective'onethetestimonyoftheSonthrough
theSpirittomyheart. 7 The subjective aspect of revelation is a face to
face encounter between Divine ' Thou ' and human ' I made possible
by the testiri10ny of the Spirit which enables one to hear the Word of
God in the mere word of man. The response to this self-disclosure of
God is faith which brings about the transformation of the human 'I'.
This encounter of inan with God through faith, according to Brunner, is
the primary
sourceoftheknowledgeofGod.
'Radha1crishnan,The IdealistViewofLife,p. 138.

Ibid., pp. 9192.


Ibid., pp. 9495. .
Brunner,RevelationandReason,p.23.
ChristianityandCivilization,Vol.I,p.59.
TheMediator,pp.333334. .
'TheChristianDoctrineofGod,p. 29.
RadhakrishnanwouldreplytoBrmmerthattheideiltificationofthe
spiritual reality of the universe with a historic figure Jesus ChriSt is a
confusionoftheuniversalSelfinuswithacatastrophicrevelationfrom
without.Hewouldaddthatitisnotnecessarilyanobjectivetruthbutan
interpretationa personal confession.1 Itis difficult to see how .Brunner
wouldanswerthis~hargeofsubjectivismaweaponwhichhehimselfuses
masterfullyagainstthemysticsandthefundamentalists.
Intuition,accordingtoRadhakrishnan,isofaselfcertifyingcharacterand
carriesitsOWnauthority.Itisbeyondtheboundsofproofandcomeswitha
convictionthatbrooksnodenial.2Brunnerhasnobetterclaimfortheauthority
ofrevelation.Revelationknowsnoproofexceptitsownproof. 3Onebelieves
somethingbecauseGodsayssointhecrisisoffaith.Thus,inthelastanalysis,
authorityforbothRadhakrishnanandBrunnerissubjective.
Intuitionistherealizationof Tat tvam asi. Itistheawarenessthat
thereisonlyone_universalSelfandthatthereisIiosuchSelfasmine in
any exclusive sense.Butrevelation, accordingtoBrunner,isa divine
humanencounterameetingoftwopersons. It doesnotobliteratethe!
Thoudistinction asintheidentity experience ofintuition.Thegoal/of
revelationiscom"munity,whereasthegoalofintuitionisidentity.
Intuition, according to Radhakrishnan, is the clue to reality. It is
intuitionthatassuresusofthemeaningandsignificanceofhumanlife.For
Brunnerrevelationisthecluetoreality.Itisthe'Jesusevent'thatassures
usofthemeaningoftheuniverse.Takethis'event'away,thenthetemporal
eventsloseallfinalsignificance.
Radhakrishnan'sunderstandingofintuitionisBergsonian.inthatitisnot
opposedtointellect.4TheformeristhecOmpletionofthelatter.Hesaysthat
theresultsof intellectio~ 'willbedullandempty,unfinishedandfragmentary,
withoutthehelpofintuition,whileintuitionalinsightswillbeblindanddumb,
darkandstrange,withoutintellectualconfirmation'.5Hispresentationofthes~
twomodesofknowingasnotopposedtoeachotherbutascomplementaryis
hisgreatestcontributiontoIndianepistemology...
Hadhakrislu?-an's solution of the problem of intellect and
intuition is similar to Brunner's solution of the problem of reason and
revelation. Brunner seeks to relate reason and revelation
ina.positiveway; Inspite ofhisstricturesagainsttheauto
nomousreason,the.concedes that therecanbenorevelation
1
Radhakrishnan,TheIdealistView ofLtfe,p. 99.

aIbid,.p.92.
Brunner,EternalHope,p.80.
H.Bergson,Introductionto Metaphysics, p. 7.
Radhakrishnan, IndianPhilosophy, Vol.I, p. 179.
3
2
apartfromreason.Hegoesfurtherandassertsthatreasonistheorganof
revelation.1Brunneradmitsthatitisnot
possibletodefinethelimitsofreasonwherethespheresofreasonand
revelationoverlap.However,heattemptstoexplainitby..anillustration
ofconcentriccirclesaroundagivencentre.Thecentreisthedimension
ofthepersonalandthecirclesarethedimensionofthenonpersonal.The
closerreasonadvancestothepersonalceJ!trethelesscompetentdoesit
become.TheinnennostcirclerepresentstheknowledgeofGod,theabsolute
Subject.Radhakrishnanmightsaythattheinnermostcirclerepresents
theknowledgeofpureselfhood(universalSelf)whichistheultimate
realityattheheartofallexistence.Butthisknowledgeisaselfawarenessin
whichreasonparticipatesbymergingwith
.Atman.Brunner,ontheotherhand,holdsthatreason,the organofrevelation,
participatesonlyintheencounterofthehumansubjectwiththedivinesubject.
Hereitisnotidentity,butGod'sselfdisclosureintermsofan~!-Thou'relation.
Brunner'schief'criticismof'knowledgebybeing'mightbethatit
knowsnoselfdisclosingGod.Radhakrishnanmightreplytothisthatthe
Divine reveals itself to men within the framework of their 'intimate
prejudices '. Something is directly experienced, but it is unconsciously
interpreted in terms of the tradition in which the recipient is trained.
Therefore Brunner interprets revelation as an encounter with a personal
GodbecauseofhisJudaeoChristianbackground.ButthisargumentworkS
bothways.IsnotRadhakrishnan'sinterpretationintermsofidentitydueto
his'intimateprejudice'towardstheUpanisadicdictum,Tattvamasi?
Radhakrishriandoesnotdenythesubjectobjectdistinctioninintellectual
knowing.Thisdistinctionistranscendedonlyinintuition.However,common
sensetellsonethatknowingathingandbeingathingaredifferent. Itiseasyto
seetheneedforsubjectobjectrelationinknowing.Butitisnotanontological
identity.Whatisneededisrelatednessorkinshipbetweenthesubje.ctandthe
object so that the knower can enter sympathetically into the known and
communewithit.Whythisisnottrueinreligiousknowledgeishardtosee
fromthestandpointofplura.listicmetaphysics.ForBrunnertherelatednessor
kinshipneededforreligiousknowledgeissuppliedby ImagoDei.Hisdoctrineof
ImagoDei doesnotdestroythedistinction betweentheselftoapprehendandthe
object to be apprehended. Radhakrishnan would say that this type of religious
knowledgeisnotfalse.Buthewouldaddthatknowledgebybeingisahighertype
ofknowledgewhichgivesaforetasteofthe
evolutionarygoalofmankind.2

1
Bruri.ner, RevelationandReaso~,p:418.
Radhakrishnan,TheIdealistViewofLife,pp.209210,305.
Radhakrishnan'sanswerraisesaproblemwhichheseemstoglossover.Ifwhathe
issayingisthatfo~a~~mentthe
empiricalselfreaches0enextstageofevolution,ItIS h~rd toseehowit
canslipbackmtothelowerlevelaftertheexpenence.Itisasimprobableas
the thought that an animal can return to the plant level. How can he
maintainsuchaviewwithoutcontradictingthebasicprincipleofevolution
asanupwardmovement? Iftheexperiencewerenotofthenextlevelof
evolution,hethenwouldhavetoadmitthatitisamentaldelusion,orhe
wouldhavetorejecttheevolutionarygoalofmankind.
Brunneralsoisfacedwithaproblemofnolessmagnitude.Forhimthere
isanabsolutequalitativedifferencebetweenthetemporalandtheeternal.How
canhemaintainintermsofthistimeandeternitydialecticthattheeternalhas
brokenintothetemporal ? Hehasnotsolvedtheproblembyreducingsuch
eventstoOne,orbyreducingtheextentofthisOneeventtoa'moment'.Nor
doesithelptocallitaparadox.

THE NATURE OF MAN


Radhakrishnan looks upon man as a selfconscious being whose
individualityistemporaryandnoteternal.Individualityisnotanythingevilin
itself;itisanormalstageintheevolutionoftheSpirit.Butitbecomesevil
whenitisregardedasanendinitself.Thegoalordestiny.ofmanistosecure'
release'fromthesenseofindividualitybymergingtheempiricalselfwiththe
InnerSelf.Thisisnotadestructionoftheempiricalselfbutitsfulfilment,the
raisingofthewhaleempiricalselftoahigherlevelofGodconsciousness.1
Imago Dei, understood as relation, distinguishes Brunner's man from
Radhakrishnan'sman.Theformerstandsclearlyontheoppositesideofthe
abyssthatseparatestheCreatorfromthecreation.Butthereisnoroomforsuch
anabyssinRadhakrishnan'sthought.Thisdeterminesthe.goalofmanineach
case. Radhakrishnan conceives of the goal of man as identity with God,
becauseGodistheinmostessenceofourbeingandtobecomeonewithHimis
to realize . ourselves. 2 It is not the destruction of individuality but its
fulfilment.Brunner,ontheotherhand,conceivesofthegoalofmanasthe
restorationandperlectionoftheimageofGod,whichisastateofcommunion
withGodandnotidentity..
Itisimportanttonotethattheactualman,accordingtoRadhakrishnan,is
theempiricalself.TheInnerSelf,whichisuniversal, istheimmanentaspectof
God.Therefore,thereisnoorganicrelationshipbetweentheInri.erSelfandthe
empiricalself.HeisusingthetraditionalHinduexpression'InnerSelf'

'Radhalcrishnan, The IdealistView ofLife,pp. 111,305306.


Ibid.,pp.103104.
34
toaccenttheimmanence~fGod.Godissoimmanentineacbmanastobe
regardedashistrueself.TbisInnerSelfis,asitwere,areminderofthe
originalstatefromwbichmanhaddescendedandtowhichheisascending.
BrunnermightarguethatintermsofhisownperspectiveRadhakrishnan's
emphasisontheInnerSelfbrings_withitadualisticconceptionofman,
andthathisrelationalinterpretationoftheimageofGodavoidsdualism.Itis
thepsychophysicalwhole,theperson,whomGodbascreatedinHisown
image.1ThusthewholemanstandsinrelationtoGod.Radhakrishnanwould
replythatthedualismofhismanistheretobevan.quisbed:The
dualismbetweenthepossibleSelf(EssentialSelf)
andtheactualself(empiricalself)disappearsbythelattergrowing_intothe
former.Thisbringsabouta'teleologicalunity'intheempiricalself.Inthelast
analysis,Radhakrisbnan'sempiricalselflacksnothingthatBrunner'srelational
manpossessesinhimself.WhileGodis com1~!:ly transcendentalinBrun:ner's
relationalview,Radbakris.'sGodisbothirnma:i:u'mtandtranscendentand
whathecalls_theEssentialSelfisnothingotherthantheimmanentaspectof
God..._
AnotherclaimofBrunneristhatonlytherelationalmancanbetmlyresponsible.
HemaysaythatRadhakrisbnan'smanknowsnoauthoritywhichmakeshimresponsible,
because,inthelastanalysis,heisresponsibleonlytohisownInnerSelf.
Thiscriticismisi:toi:fairastheInnerSelfofRadhakrishnan'smanisalsotranscendent.

THEPROBLEMOFEviL
.InRadbakrislman'sphilosophyevilissubordinatetohisfundamentalmonism.
Inotherwords,thereisnoplaceforevilinthebeginningandintheendofthe
world.Butaslongasitexiststheproblemofevilisarealone.Evilisanecessary
conditionoftheworldprocess.Aworldwithoutitwouldbeoneinwhichthefinite
iseclipsedbythe.Infinite.2Evilisreal;itgives.reali~tothecosmic.strife.But.itis
unreal in th.e sense that It will be changed mto good m the end. 3 Bemg the
conditionofprogress,itdisappearswhentheendisattained.
Radhakrisbnan'sexplanationoftheproblemofevilisdefectiveinthatit
minimizesthetragicnatureofevilinspiteofhisattempttoemphasizethe
realityofevil.Itishardtoseehowpoliogerms,earthquakes,cobrapoisonand
ahostofotherthingsconstitutetheconditionforprogress.Perhaps,Radha
krishnanglossesoverthisdifficulty"becauseofthe'reignof1vionism'inhis
philosophy.Brunner,ontheotherhand,adoptsadualisticoutlook.Inorderto
explainevilhepositsanactive

'Brunner,ManinRevolt,p.218.
Radhakrishnan,TheReignofReligioninContempOTaruPhilosoph(!,
p.450. .
IndianPhilosophy,Vol.I,p.242.
35
and positive power which .transcends the negative status ascribed to
evil by Radhakrishnan. He affirms that Christian faith is bound to admit
the existence of a sinful supernatural
power.1 . .

AnotherdefectofRaclhakrishnan'sanswertotheproblem
ofevilisthatitisconceived asametaphysicalratherthana
moralproblem.EvilistheprivationofB'eingratherthananact. 2Brunner,
onthe.otherhand,looksuponevil.asanactapositivenegation. 3
Sin,accordingtoRadhakrishnan,isaparticularevilconnectedwithman.
Man emerges from the animal level as selfconscious, and this self
consciousnessbreaksuphisprimalunitywithnature.Thegoalofthehuman
individualistorealizeahigherunionthroughtheharmonyofhisempiricalself
~iththeDivineinhim.Bythishigherunion,heregainshisunitywiththe
worldbecausethesameSpiritoperatesatalllevelsofbeing.Butbyavidya or
ignorance man reveres the empirical self to the exclusion of the Divine.
This is the greatest sill: It results in inner division. The tragedy is that
man is not aware
ofhisavidyawhichproduces selfishegoism.Themoreill,the
lessconsciousdoesonebecome.4 .

Radhakrishnan,however, isnot apessimist.Hehasno


doctrineoforiginalsin.NomanisutterlyevilbecauseoftheimmanenceoftheDivineinhim.
Heiscertainthateventheworstsinnerwillfinallytumtotheunceasingwooingofthe

Divineinhimandconsciouslydirecthisevolutiontothenextlevel.5
Radhakrishn~m usesthete1m'Fall'inamisleadingwayin thatitmeansa
leap forward in evolution from the animal stage to the human level
characterizedbyintellectualknowledge.ThisisverysimilartoHegel'sviewof
the' Fall '. 6 For Brunner, ' Fall' is a downward movement. The 'Fall'
presupposesthecreationofmanintheimageofGod.Fallimpliesthelossof
thisimageofGodtherightrelationtoGod.Thefallenmanstandsinopposition
tohisoriginanddestiny.HestandsinapervertedrelationtoGod.7
1
Brunner,TheChristianDoctrineofCreationandRedemption,p.140.
2
AugustineinhisConfessionssaysthatevilisa'privation.ofgood'andthat'intheendit
ceasesaltogethertobe'(Ibid.,p.46);'nonbeii:Jg,understoodnegatively,doesnotrequirea
subject,asthephilosophersays,andsuchanonbeingisanevil'(Pegis,TheBasicWritingsof
ThomasAquinas,p.129).
Brunner,ManinRevolt,p.129.
Radhakrishnan,EasternReligionsandWestern Thought, p.44.
'TheAncientAsianViewofMan'(inMan's Rightto Knowledge,
p. 12).
G.W.F.Hegel,LecturesonthePhilosophyofHistory,p.33.

his dialectical philosophy represents the 'Fall' as fall upward, '


Hegel in
the very transition by which he (man) becomes man. Persistence in
this standpoint is, however, evil'. He adds, 'The Fall ... is no causal (acci-
dental)conception,.buttheetemalhistoryofSpirit.' .
Brunner,TheChristianDoctrineofCreationandRedemption,p. 92.
36
Sinisthispervertedrelationto.Godadeliberateact.of:rebellion
againstGod.Radhakrishnanalsomaysaythatsin.isanegativerelationto
God.Butthisnegativerelationisastatetowhichhehasevolvedandnotthe
resultofhisfreeact.:Becontinuestobeasjn.nerlargelydueto avidyii
whichvroducesselflshdesires.Thussiniscausalratherthanexistential.
Thereforethisviewfailstomakerna~solelyresponsibieforhis.sin.
.Maninhisempiricalnature,accordingtoBrunner,isincontradictiontoGod's
willandtohisowndestinyandbeing. 1Thisistheessenceofthedoctrineofsin.Sin
isspiritualinorigin.Itisman'sattempttobehisownGod.Itisnotinignorance
thattheoriginofevillies,butinman'swilltonegatetheGodgivendestinyand
frameofhislife.This.attempttoemancipatehimselffromGodentangleshimin a
desperate,
incurablecontradictionofhisbeing. .
Theproblerpofevil,accordingtoBrunner, isthiscontra
dictionbetweenman'struenatureandhis.actual.empiricalnature. 2Atrue
understandingofevil,accordingtoBrunner,shouldtakeintoaccounttwo
facts,thefatalcleavageinman'snatureandhisresponsibilityforit.
Radhakrishnan accounts for 'the contradiction in man . in terms of
evolution. But from the Brunnerian standpoint .Radhakrishnan's view
minimizes the fatal character of the cleavage in human nature. For
Radhakrishnanthecleavageisbetweenmanandnaturewhich,afterall,isa
necessary step forward _in evolution. But the cleavage in the nature of
Brunner'smanissomethingwhichcutsstraightthroughhisrelationtoGod.Itis
thisrelationtoGodthatmakesmanman.
Brunner showsa deeper understandingof the radicalnature of moral evil than
Radhakrishnan.Heemploysexpressionslikethefall,rebellionagainstGod,apostasy,
perversionoftheoriginalrelationtoGod,contradictionandinnerdivisiontoaccentthe
fatalnatureofsin.Thedamagedonebysfuissomethingwhichman
canneverundo;Theonlyanswerforhisdesperate situa~tionisdivine
intervention.Thisispreciselywhathappenedinthe'Jesusevent'.
Sinis.notsuchaformidableobstacleforRadhakrishnanastoneed
divine intervention to save man. Salvation for him is 'selfrealization'.
Moreover, if anythinglikeselfishnessorignprancestandsinthewayof
man's selfrealization, God is more responsible for it than man. God is
responsibleforconstitutinghumannatureinsuchawayastoneedevilfor
itsdevelopment.Sinandevilarenothingmorethanthebirthpangsofa
newlife.Therefore,inthelastanalysis,evilhasno'evilness'.Withoutitthe
emer.genceofspiritualandmoralvaluesareimpossible.
EventhedoctrineofKarma loses its tragic feature at the hands of
Radhakrishnan. He removes the popular notion of
.Biunner,TheChristianDoctrineof.CreationandReckmption,p. 124.
Ibid.,pp.180185.
:z: '37
.fatalismci:lnnectedwiththisdoctrinebyidentifyingitWiththewillof
God.HedoesnotseemtorecognizetheneedforrelatingitwiththeGrace
of God. Actually, RadJ:J.akrishnan's man does not need Grace to
disentanglehimself,fromKarma.JustasheiS responsibleforwhathe is, so
alsohecanmakehimselfwhat heoughttobe..Whatheneeds isnotGracebut
enoughopportunities.ThedoctrineofSamsiiragovernedbythelawof
K.arrn.aguaranteestheseopportunitiesoneneedsforselfiealization.1
Here Radhakrishnan and Brunner are poles apart in their views. The
differenceliesintheirlinderstandingofthenature.ofeVil(sin).Brunnerholds
thatsincreatesaformidablebarrierthatseparatesmanfromGodandthatman is
completelyincapableofremovingthisobstacle.LefttohimselfBrunner'sman is
doomedforever,whereasRadhakrishnan'sman isnot.Theonlyhopeoftheformeris
intheGraceofGodbecausehecannotgetridoftheguiltthatstandsbetweenhimand
God.2
We have indicated that by positing ignorance as antecedent to any sinful
humanaction,Radhakrishnanfailstomakehismanfullyresponsibleforhissin.
It remains to examine whether or not Brunner is successful where
Radhakrishnanhasfailed.Brunnerpositsevilforceasantecedenttoany
sinftil human action. But as pure force of temptation, it is outside man. It
suggestsevil,butmanallowshimselftobeledastraybyhisfreechoiceandis
thusresponsibleforhisaction.Buttheforceofevilwhichisantecedentto
one'sownsingainsentrancethroughsinandsharesinthedominionofsinover
him.Themoreonesinsthemoreonefallsunderthecombineddominionofsin
andthedemonicforces.
Toonewhohasunderstoodman'ssituationasbondage'tothepowerof
sin, at:~Y talkofsalvationthrough'selfrealization'isnonsense.. It ishardto
findonewhowouldbemoreopposedtotheideaofselfrealizationthan
Brunner. For him the only way of deliverance from the bondage of sin is
throughtheactofJesusChrist,understoodinfaith.
Brunner, however, by positing 'evil force does not solve the problem of
responsibility.Perhaps,itraisesmoreproblemsthanitsolves.Forexample,whydid
Godcreatemeninsuchawaythatthe'evilforce'couldhaveeasyaccesstohimand
tempt.him?IsnotGodresponsibleforaUthatresultedfromthefallofmanwho
wascreatedinthisfashion?Wedoubt ifBrunnerhassucceededinplacingthesole
responsibilityforsinonman.Theonlythinghecanrightlyclaim is that his view
placesmoreresponsibilityonmanthanRadhakrishna~'sview:.
(Tobeco1wluded)

Radhakrishnan,TheHinduViewofLife,p.73.
Brunner,TheChrl$tianDoctrineofCreationandRedemption,p.107..
38