A Living Theology of Krishna Bhakti: Essential Teachings of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. (Oxford University Press).

Book Information

  • 296 pages
  • Hardbound

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (1896-1977), founder of the Hare Krishna Movement, traced his lineage to the fifteenth-century Indian saint Sri Chaitanya. He authored more than fifty volumes of English translation and commentaries on Sanskrit and Bengali texts, serving as a medium between these distant authorities and his modern Western readership and using his writings as blueprints for spiritual change and a revolution in consciousness. He had to speak the language of a people vastly disparate from the original recipients of his tradition’s scriptures without compromising fidelity to the tradition.

Tamal Krishna Goswami claims that the social scientific, philosophical, and ‘insider’ forms of investigation previously applied have failed to explain the presence of a powerful interpretative device – a mahāvākya or ‘great utterance’  that governs and pervades Prabhupāda’s ‘living theology’ of devotion on bhakti. For Prabhupāda, the wide range of ‘Vedic’ subject matter is governed by the axiomatic truth: Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Goswami’s academic training at the University of Cambridge, his thirty years’ experience as a practitioner and teacher, and his extensive interactions with Prabhupāda as both personal secretary and managerial representative, afforded him a unique opportunity to understand and illuminate the theological contribution of Prabhupāda. In this work, Goswami proves that the voice of the scholar-practitioner can be intimately connected with his tradition while sustaining a mature critical stance relative to his subject. A Living Theology of Krishna Bhakti includes a critical introduction and conclusion by Graham M. Schweig.

“Tamal Krishna Goswami’s A Living Theology of Krishna Bhakti is absolutely superb  an elegant and compelling articulation of an under-studied theological vision.  The book is really a game-changer when it comes to the academic discussion of Vaishnava bhakti and its contemporary relevance.”

Peter A. Huff, Besl Family Chair of Ethics, Religion and Society, Xavier University, and T. L. James Chair in Religious Studies, Centenary College of  Louisiana