Journal of Dharma, is an International Quarterly published by the Centre for the Study of World Religions (CSWR), established at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK), Pontifical Athenaeum of Philosophy, Theology, and Canon Law, Bengaluru, India. It was launched in 1975, ‘to fill the gap of a felt need in the contemporary society’ ‘to foster intercultural understanding from an inner realization of religions.’

Understanding religion as ‘one of the deepest dimensions of culture’ Journal of Dharma was committed to ‘disseminate the seeds of the Sacred in every bit of our secular existence and to re-integrate the entire material Universe in the Spirit of Truth and Holiness’ (Inaugural Editorial).

Together with the promotion of inter-religious dialogue, Journal of Dharma promotes dialogue between the sacred and secular with the conviction that the ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’ are basic dimensions of reality. In a world of mass human migration and ever faster dissemination of ideas and images, no fact of human life is independent of religious influence and religious life and practices are also influenced by these branches of human knowledge and life.


The library contains articles of Journal of Dharma as of vol. 1(1975) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • The Hebrew Bible and Environmental Ethics: Human, Non-Humans, and Living Landscape

    Zhan, Ping (Dharmaram College, 2021-03-31)
    The environmental issues in the present world have raised certain serious concerns about the safety of not only the present generation but also of the future generations. The perils of environmental degradation and the use of finite resources by undermining the values of sustainability are very serious, and the Governments, Institutions, and people in general need to continuously strive for raising awareness and make concerted efforts to adapt and mitigate the ill effects of climate change. The Hebrew Bible and Environmental Ethics is a well-timed addition to scholarship, integrating the writings from religious and social sciences in order to influence the reader to take practical actions, for people and the planet.

    Nandhikkara, Jose (Dharmaram College, 2021-03-31)
    The Journal of Dharma volume 46 (2021) investigates human quest ‘Towards Sustainable Societies’ and explores the Ethical interface of Sustainable Development Goals and the roles of educational, economic, political, legal, and religious policies, systems, and institutions, bringing together research from different academic fields including Literature, Media, Environmental Sciences, Law, Economics, Philosophy, and Religious studies. Vol. 46.1. focus on “Towards Sustainable Societies: People, Ethics, and Development.” In the Preamble of the SDG Agenda, we read: “We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.” People are the focus of the SDG, especially the first five goals in the Agenda.

    Guo, Jing (Dharmaram College, 2021-03-31)
    This paper examines the idea of a Human Community of Shared Destiny and its relationship and contribution in the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The community of shared interest for humanity is a concept that represents China’s flagship vision of a more just and secure world. This shared destiny for humankind is a new paradigm that is an inheritance, innovation and development of Marxian philosophy and traditional Chinese wisdom. As the world’s largest developing country, China envisages itself as an active initiator and builder of world peace and global development. This vision of a global community covers the aspects of politics, security, economy, culture, ecology, global governance and international order. In this project, China expects to play the role of a global leader by focusing international efforts towards eradicating the global issues of poverty, reduced inequalities, and sustainable ecological and economic development as well as promoting partnerships that are beneficial for progress of humankind. On the basis of analysing the characteristics of the thought of a global community of a common future, this paper studies the relationship between China’s vision and its potential in realising the various SDGs for the purpose of a common good. It also discusses its realistic significance and value in the contemporary international society.

    Lee , Soo-Jin; Kim, Seok (Dharmaram College, 2021-03-31)
    The purpose of this study is to diagnose and find solutions through art, based on a psychoanalytic perspective, seeing the increasing misery of Koreans as a signal to the frustration of desire and social incongruity. However, mental disorders have a double effect. Especially, anxiety has its fair share of negative repercussions such as fear, powerlessness, and sadness; it also enables inner inspection and acts as a signal of existence that can re-establish desire.  Through a case study, this paper argues that art therapy can not only help individuals to understand their existence, but also restore intersubjective relationships and go toward sustainable society. This is because art is ultimately an act of practice aiming at the gaze, an indicator of existence. In the end, the central goal of humanity and social development should be to make them coexist in an ethical horizon through the restoration of the “original life.”

    Canceran, Delfo (Dharmaram College, 2021-03-31)
    This paper proposes an indigenist research methodology that interfaces the indigenous and western knowledges but prioritizes the former in knowledge production promoting the self-representation of the indigenous peoples in their communities. Documents on the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) fully support the indigenous peoples in their right to self-determination and self-representation. Instead of helping the indigenous peoples recover from colonization, scholars using western methodological and theoretical frameworks reinforce the re-colonization in their cognitive paradigms. As the indigenous com­mu­ni­ties reclaim their rights to self-determination and self-representation, scholars are challenged to relearn from the indigenous peoples in their communities and to devise methodologies that represent the indigenous peoples in their scholarship and publication. To execute this research, theologians ought to engage into reflexivity as they face the indigenous peoples and to involve into teamwork collaborations with them and their spokespersons. They should work together to rescue the indigenous worldviews and reassert their contributions in knowledge production.

    Do, Jein; Park, Mincheol (Dharmaram College, 2021-03-31)
    This paper seeks to set a new direction for a ‘Cultural Turn’ toward harmony in re-examining the Korean Cold War to promote a sustainable inter-Korean scholarly dialogue and enhance mutual understanding. Based on the ‘Cultural Turn’ in Cold War studies, the concept of ‘commonality’ in ‘Humanities for Unification’ (t'ongil inmunhak), parallels drawn with the decline of socialist fashion in Eastern Europe, and discussions on the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (SDG 5) in the unique context of North Korea where ‘gender equality’ and ‘namjonnyŏbi (superior men, inferior women)’ coexist, the present analysis looks into the clothing and consumer culture of women in the 1980s to explore the nuances and complexities specific to the materiality of chuch’e (self-reliance) socialism and gauge the feasibility of SDG 5 in the North Korean context by focusing on the agency of women in their own self-empowerment rather than the patriarchal socialist state or institutions. The interviews with North Korean defectors demonstrate the evolving state-society negotiations concerning standard and new styles, domestic and transnational means of consumption, and regulation and deregulation for the revitaliza­tion of socialism. By exposing the normalizing qualities of chuch’e socialism and the active role of women in their formation, the ‘Cultural Turn’ explores North Korea’s distinct experience of modernity to pave the way for viable inter-Korean academic exchange between the worlds of han’gukhak and chosŏnhak.
  • SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: Catholic Social Teaching and the UN’s Agenda 2030

    Huo, Yanyan (Dharmaram College, 2021-03-31)
    Sustainable Development Goals and the Catholic Church is an exceptional effort to create a synergy between effective policy making and its implementation through the identification of convergent areas between Agenda 30 and Catholic social teaching in order to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This monograph puts forth the evolution of Catholic approach towards the contemporary realities of social life, and highlights superbly the potential of Catholic Church in achieving the goals set by Agenda 30. Through a panel of 55 authors of different scientific disciplines, this work aims to provide readers with a better, more intuitive outlook on and understanding the multifaceted nature of individual sustainable development goals.

    Huo, Yanyan (Dharmaram College, 2021-03-31)
    Sustainable Development Goals and the Catholic Church is an exceptional effort to create a synergy between effective policy making and its implementation through the identification of convergent areas between Agenda 30 and Catholic social teaching in order to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This monograph puts forth the evolution of Catholic approach towards the contemporary realities of social life, and highlights superbly the potential of Catholic Church in achieving the goals set by Agenda 30. Through a panel of 55 authors of different scientific disciplines, this work aims to provide readers with a better, more intuitive outlook on and understanding the multifaceted nature of individual sustainable development goals.

    Kuo-Kuang Fan; Chang, Chia-Lin (Dharmaram College, 2021-03-31)
    This study critically and creatively explores ways to promote the cognition and design skills of elementary school students on human rights through the process of design education and to cultivate their attitude towards sustainable development that values human dignity. In the curriculum process, the researcher guided the students to select several human rights problems that could often be found in the community and propose design solutions to these problems through brainstorming, discussion, practice, and correction. Through the induction of observation focus, group interviews, design work analysis, and other methods, we could understand the students’ learning performance and experience. A critical analysis of the data shows students’ change and improvement of human rights literacy in this learning process. The study found that students’ active participation in the design practice of human rights could effectively construct their concept and identity of human dignity, which made the network system of learning concepts more complete and concrete, promoting the possibility of sustainable development.
  • From Aristotle to Cognitive Neuroscience

    Attukaran, Vincent (Dharmaram College, 2020-12-30)
    In the contemporary scenario of the philosophy of mind, there are two divergent streams of explanations regarding the character of the human soul (psyche). The Cartesian tradition illustrates the human body and soul as two independent metaphysical substances and the empiricists, on the other hand, deny this extreme division between mind and soul and argue that the human soul has a natural development. Grant Gillet attempts in his book to establish the theory of the embodied soul based on the Aristotelian description of the human soul that proposes the theory of the natural development of the soul.

    Nandhikkara, Jose (Dharmaram College, 2020-12-30)
    Philosophically, the COVID-19 Pandemic is an important time to think critically and creatively the most fundamental questions on human life and values, our relations to God, fellow human beings and to nature. We are puzzled with the questions on the ‘right’ thing to do in crises. All aspects of human life are inextricably intertwined with each other and none of them are neutral in value. Ethics is indeed the élan vital of human life and wellbeing.  A living human being is not just a bundle of perceptions (empiricism) or thoughts (rationalism) but is an individual actively and critically engaging in varying relations with God, community, and nature. These relations have a constitutive ethical dimension.We realise that to control the pandemic and to protect lives we must all work together; no one is safe until everyone is safe, and no one could deal with this crisis alone; all of us should work together for the common good. It is a moral tragedy that the Governments spend billions in acquiring military equipment even when the countries struggle to provide food, medical care, and education. Besides COVID19 vaccines we need vaccines against indifferent individualism and the hunger for unlimited pleasure and power.

    YUN, JI SUN (Dharmaram College, 2020-12-30)
    In the 21st century, crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and global warming require us to radically change our visions with respect to the ecological world. This paper reveals a new horizon of harmony, heralds a non-anthropocentric vision where harmony may be perceived to be a process of the combination, connection, and detachment of various elements of the ecosystem, through the lens of Deleuzian assemblage theory. My arguments re-establish a new ontological framework that is based on the new materialism proposed by Deleuze, Guattari, and DeLanda. First, we will refute the mechanical and organic notion of the harmony of the ecosystem through the concept of ‘machinic arrangement’ proposed by Deleuze and Guattari. This will allow the traditional notion of harmonious world to be seen as an anthropocentric projection. Next, we will examine the notion of the world and that of harmony through complexity theory and chaos theory, which have guided the arguments of Deleuze, demonstrating the forces of dynamic interactions of elements which produce a fundamental change in the perspective of the ecological horizon. This revises the anthropocentric perspective, which distributes a finality to the world, to direct us toward a non-anthropocentric perspective, and a new materialist vision which consists in changing our ontological framework as well as our relationship with the ecological world.

    Yun, Ji-Yeong (Dharmaram College, 2020-12-30)
    This article deconstructs the static approach to harmony and elucidates its dynamic dimension. First, I provide critical analysis of Plato’s functionalist notion of harmony in the Republic, where harmony is viewed not as the suspension of the power relationship between the dominant and subjugated, but as the establishment of the relationship of domination that gives rise to the governability of one’s own soul and the city, and, further, contributes to the stability of the self and the system. Second, I emphasize the Aristotelian anthropocentric perspective of harmony in the Politics, where harmony is considered a fraternity of the political animal that shares the logical capacity of speech and excludes the inhuman. Third, through the lens of Latour’s new materialism, I seek to redefine harmony as a dynamic process and as material assemblages between humans and non-humans that foster creative tensions and increase the intensity of agency.

    Onyiloha, Chiedu (Dharmaram College, 2020-12-30)
    Abstract This study argues that natural law is a body of laws imbedded in the order of creation, which provides rationale for the created order including human person both in a state of rationality or spirituality. Natural law lays the key frame for the understanding of the self and other non-human beings in creation. Aristotle developed the concept, but Thomas Aquinas put a garb of ethical theory on it, chiefly from a Christian outlook. Thus, the phenomenon is considered from its nature, meaning, functions and significance including extant controversies. The Catholic Church’s pedagogy and ethics also form the study’s scope. From methodology, the work is phenomenological, historical, and analytical as well as logically compliant with syllogism in collection and analysis of data. The research infers that natural law is useful to societal wellbeing.

    Park, Eun-young; Kim, Do-hyung (Dharmaram College, 2020-12-30)
    This essay draws on the limitations of materialistic naturalism and ethical aspects attempted by Kato Hiroyuki in the 19th century Japan. In order to overcome the crisis of Western entry into East Asia in the 19th century, Kato Hiroyuki argued that Japan must achieve the development of a modern country through 'Harmony between People'. He studied Western state theory, especially through Bluntschli's political science and state theory, and criticized the Western state theory based on social contracts or natural rights as having an unproven metaphysical basis and insisted on the validity of the naturalist state theory which sees the state as an organism. However, when Kato realized that the organism state theory evolving through competition could harm the 'harmony between people' of the modern Japan, he argued that true evolution could only be possible through competition for harmony of community. In the end, he failed to overcome anti-metaphysical metaphysics called ‘materialistic naturalism’, as the Western social contract theory or natural rights theory he criticized.

    Mabaquiao, Napoleon (Dharmaram College, 2020-12-30)
    As the business activity is an integral part of our social life, building an ethical society must include, among others, ensuring the ethical conduct of this activity. The concept of ethical business, however, has always been controversial especially in light of the alleged incompatibility of the profit motive with the motive of benevolence. Accordingly, it is thought that the profit motive is essentially selfish which thereby contradicts the selfless motive of benevolence. A standard strategy for reconciling these two motives takes the profit motive as a means to perform benevolent acts, which, however, only separates the business act from the ethical one. This essay advances an alternative strategy in which said motives occur simultaneously as motives for performing the same act. After demonstrating its possibility through a case involving General Motors, the essay shows how this strategy can be ethically justified using the Kantian moral principle of respect for persons.

    Reed, Robert (Dharmaram College, 2020-12-30)
    This essay argues that Simone Weil’s writings suggest a phenomenological method of particular relevance to investigating ethical questions. It begins by presenting evidence that although Weil does not mention phenomenology explicitly, she thinks about ethics in a phenomenological manner. Subsequent sections outline a “phenomenological ethics” derived from Weil’s notion of attention and her hermeneutics of ‘reading’ the world. Since attention sets aside the self and its personal world, this allows for an ethics of self-abdication (decreation) relatively free of influence by the forces of domination. David Rousset’s term “concentrationary universe” is introduced to describe the claim, argued by Hannah Arendt, Giorgio Agamben, and others, that present-day societies show evidence of an increasing reliance on ways of thinking derived from the Nazi concentration camps. Examples are given of applications of Weil’s phenomenological method to the problem of how to recognize signs of potential domination in a concentrationary universe.

    Wang, Jun Wang (Dharmaram College, 2020-12-30)
    Wu Kangzhai, an educator in Ming Dynasty of China (AD 1368-1644), expressed his philosophical thoughts through various literary forms such as poetry and journal. An analysis of his works shows that his moral cultivation in different periods reflected his wisdom and sensitivity. However, his theory of moral cultivation and the ‘heart-mind’ duality has been given little to no due attention within the academia. Most scholars regard Wu Kangzai as a scholar of ‘learning of the principle’ rather than a scholar of ‘learning of the heart’. His learning and understanding about ‘heart-mind’ duality may have manifested in his progress of moral practice. This study aims to show Wu’s important role in encouraging learning of the ‘heart-mind’ by Chen Baisha and Wang Yangming. Wu Kangzhai’s learning of the ‘heart-mind’ duality was not only enlightenment and guidance for Wang Yangming’s theory, but also inspired literary schools in Ming Dynasty such as the Tang-Song school, the Gongan school, and later the Ming prose. His observation of self-cultivation and subtle inspection of moral development over the years, parallels the sentimentalism and spiritual writing in the middle and later Ming Dynasty literary works.
  • Handiworks of God: Art of Spiritual Life and Religious Formation

    Nattunilath, Dominic (Dharmaram College, 2020-09-30)

    Anand, Abhinav (Dharmaram College, 2020-09-30)
    In this paper, investigating the issue whether Buddhism proposes (a) pro-life, (b) pro-choice, (c) middle way, or (d) ambiguous position on the issues of abortion, three questions are examined: (i) when does an individual life begin according to the early Buddhist texts? (ii) what are the cases of abortion recorded in the Pāli texts? (iii) how and why the Buddhist metaphysical and ethical principles prohibits killing? Analysing selected passages of Pāli texts such as Majjhima, Saṃyutta and Aṇguttara Nikāya-s, Vinaya Piṭaka, Milindapañha, Dhammapada and Jātaka, and their metaphysical and ethical ideas the author argues that abortion is an act of pāṇātipāta (killing) a moral being and is prohibited.

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