Converging Wisdom? Questioning the Continued Relevance of Perennial Philosophy

A Hybrid Conference based at the University of Notre Dame
October 2 – October 4, 2022

The branch of philosophy known as “Perennial Philosophy” teaches that there is one transcendent Mystery, one supreme and eternal Truth that has manifested itself throughout history as a primordial wisdom accessible to all people and in various ways in their religions. Despite the notable differences in the formal doctrines they espouse, the world religions bear witness to a similarity of underlying spiritual and metaphysical insight. Thus, the changing world of multiplicity is understood to derive its meaning from its relation to an ontologically real eternal Absolute; all human persons bear within themselves a natural orientation to this Absolute; and the final goal of life is the attainment of a mystical ego-transcending unity with this ultimate Reality. The followers of different religions are said to apprehend the supreme Truth in quite different and distinct ways, but ways that also manifest common spiritual principles that derive from a single transcendent Source. Is this the way to understand the many religions? Do they have one Source expressing itself in many ways or is this a simplistic way of understanding religious pluralism? What is the proper way to understand the nature of God in relation to humankind? These and other topics will be discussed at this conference by scholars representing different religions, at times highlighting perennialist thought within their home tradition. 

Seyyed Hossein Nasr will deliver the keynote address. Other prominent scholars from around the world who will speak at this conference include Catherine Cornille, David Bentley Hart, Bradley Malkovsky, Swami Medhananda, Anantanand Rambachan, Reza Shah-Kazemi, and Alireza Ziarani. 

For the complete list of speakers, the conference schedule, sponsors, and registration for in-person or virtual attendance, click here.