The Logic of sameness and the logic of otherness and the Quest for Inter-being communion

The interpretive community in Goa is split. It represents a world of boundaries, the space that is not yet been dialogically opened and often perceived to be chaotic and even evil. One can only view a dividing line that sees itself as a realm of uneasiness ready to erupt into a confrontation  based on real or imagined differences felt in the communities.  This means faced with a complex multifaceted alterity / otherness, the Goan society has the opportunity to respond to the otherness in terms of identity or sameness as fundamental and therefore from this position of equivalence, we have put on a mask of innocence that exhibits no qualms of conscience when we ignore legitimate divergences and end up judging the other according to the thumb rule of the sameness we impose on our Goan Community.  Perhaps this reduction of the diverse complexity of the Goan society into a monolithic sameness is at the core of every ill that affects the inter-religious harmony in Goa.

The atmosphere of suspicion and a kind of cold peace that seem to reign in our society spill into the public sphere in different ways and demonstrates the fragility of the  masquerading  inter-religious harmony in our society.   That is why the reversal of the monarchical logic of sameness seem to be urgent and  enthronement of an hetrarchical logic of otherness appears to be a viable way forward for us. The monarchical logic of sameness is hierarchical and converts with the irreducibility of the otherness and it complexity into a simplified hierarchy and splits the society into a simplified duality of us and them. Such a splintered duality manages otherness by a hierarchizing that un-thinks otherness/ differences and sub-ordinates it as inferior, impure and even illegitimate.  This means the monarchical logic of sameness includes the otherness within its scheme of things by setting it on the lower rung of its hierarchy. This means it includes otherness by excluding it. Hence, the need to critically question the deductive assumptions on the basis of which we construe the dialectics of   self and the other in our society is urgent and important.

In these contexts, it will interest us to explore how the monarchical logic of sameness attempts to perpetuate itself and produces inter-religious or inter-community relations in Goa.  Indeed,  the monarchical  logic of sameness is specular. It not only mirrors our Goan society  but it constantly  uses otherness as a mirror that reflects the image of that which is deemed as worthy and noble within the framework of sameness . It is this process that needs to be critically analyzed.  The work of  Edward Said, Franz Fannon,  French Psycho-analyst  Jaques Lacan, and Jurgen Harbermas  can assist us  to unearth the dynamism of the  logic of sameness in our society. Hence, this paper proposes to make an attempt to read the specular dynamism of the monarchical logic in the light of some of their  illuming insights from the work of those luminaries. This will allow us to understand how what is viewed as other becomes a location for the construction imperialistic power relation of what is deemed as noble and worthy. It is within this framework that we can also trace the existence of the Manichean dichotomy and hierarchy  of Good and Evil  that naturalizes and normalizes  otherness as Evil and sameness as Good.



The March of Monarchical Logic of Sameness

The ‘either/or’ logic of sameness excludes otherness by an inclusive inferiorization.  We attempt to  understand its dynamism through that work  of Edward Said, Franz Fanon ,  Jacques Lacan and Jurgen Habermas and in the light of their views illumine how the sphere of  inter-religious harmony is evolving in Goa.

 Monarchical  Logic of Sameness  in Orientalism

Edward Said in this magnum opus Orientalism[1] has demonstrated that West depends on a binary division to view the world and itself. It makes a binary division between occident and the orient. Each is assumed to exist in opposition to the other. Indeed, the orient is conceptualized as being everything that the West is not. This means the West sees the East as its ‘alter ego’. However, the West does not view the East as an equal partner.  The East is almost always seen in negative terms. This serves to buttress the sense of superiority of West over the East.  Thus, if West is construed as the seat of wisdom and knowledge, the East is portrayed as a place of ignorance and naiveté. Thus, the superiority of the west is assured by the inferiorization of the East.  The West sees itself as having what the East, its other  lacks.[2]

The asymmetrical relation between the East and the West has been seen as the fundamental to the self-conception of the West. The orient as viewed by the West may not exist outside its occidental representations. That is, the western views of the East are not based on what is observed to exist in oriental lands but often results from western fantasies , dreams and fabrications. Said teaches that Orientalism imposes upon the East specifically western view of its ‘reality’ and legitimates its domination. [3]

The monarchical logic of sameness in the garb of Orientalism dominated the otherness of the East by hierarchizing it and rendering it as inferior to the West. This is inclusion by exclusion. Such an inclusion by exclusion legitimated the colonial rule in the East. It somehow made it possible for the West to see its de-humanizing enterprise of colonialism as a civilizing mission. It prepared the ground for the belief that the Orient is ahistorical, backward and uncultured. This in its turn generated the politics of guilt that scholars have called the white men’s burden.

One can understand how the colonial rule in Goa fits within the paradigm of Orientalism as theorized by Said. The overall  subalternity of Portuguese colonialism, the interest of Portuguese to control the sea trade, and the unusual long life of colonialism in Goa[4]  as well as the fact that Goa was a metropolis that looked after other colonies like Mozambique, Angola and Macau , Cabo Verde challenges us to look at the lusitanian  colonial project as subtly different and nuanced from other similar European colonial projects. Yet we can still locate it with in the broad framework of Orientalism. The Goans could never  enjoy a relation of equality with their Portuguese colonizers.

The Orietalism like bias is operating among the religious communities in Goa in particular among the Hindu and the Christians. Ech community construes the image of the other from within its sameness. There appears a hierarchization of otherness. Otherness is hirarchized and inferiorized. This politics of inclusive exclusion is particularly traceable among the Hindus and the Christians in Goa.  The Christians seem to define the Hindus and the Muslim by a relation of lack when they call them non-Christian. While the Hindus also see them through the relation of lack as they see them as culturally as well as religiously alien to our country.  In many ways, we must admit that we have internalized the monarchical logic of sameness of the colonizers and are led to see the other through the relation of lack.

The Monarchical Logic of Sameness and the White Mind

By the nineteenth century it is said that  the Europeans believed that the world’s population existed as a hierarchy of races based  upon colour, whereby the white Europeans deemed themselves as most civilized and the black Africans as the most savage. (POSTCOLONIALISM, JOHN McLEOD , p. 77 ). This belief became a glaring expression of orientalist attitude that subjected the black to great indignities, oppression and slavery  at the hands of their white colonial masters, who although claimed to belong to a high civilization only manifested their ethical and moral poverty.  It is within this collective suffering and resistance, we can trace the work of Franz Fanon.

Fanon’s book, Black Skins and White Masks,[5] is greeted as one of the first book to investigate the psychology of colonialism. It demonstrates how colonialism is internalized by the colonized. It examines how an inferiority complex is inculcated and how through the mechanism of racism black people ended up emulating their oppressors. Thus, we can notice that Fanon began the process of the psychoanalytic deconstruction that was further developed by Ashis Nandy in his book, the Intimate Enemy[6] and Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonizing the Mind.[7] Fanons book does make its readers  uncomfortable. This is because the so called  ‘civilized society’ does not like uncomfortable truths and naked honesty. For Fanon struggle  of colonized and racialized black community is nothing but an attempt  to survive, to breathe the air of liberty and dignity.

Fanon exposed what we have called the monarchical totalizing logic of sameness when he pointed that the plight of the black people is not just that he/she has to be a black human being but he/she has to be a black in relation to white men. The experience of subjugation in the hands of a white men led the black to become unconscious signatories of the monarchical white logic of sameness.  Being inferiorized by the superior white colonial and cultural technologies, the black experienced a collapse his/her ego and was led to the emulate the white men with a hope to be accepted as a human.  The whiteness under racialized colonialism became the symbol of purity, justice, truth and virginity. It defined what it meant to be a human being. Blackness on the other hand became it’s diametrically opposite. It stood for ugliness, sin, darkness, and immorality.[8]

This constructed the need for the black to cease to be a black in order to be a human. Liberation begins with the recognition of these constructions. Fanon sees it in the ability of rising above the absurd drama that staged by other around the black community. But unfortunately, he finds that white becomes a measure of all things for the black. The black desires to be white. Hence, he/she puts on the white mask.  It is from this colonization of the mind that Fanon strives to liberate himself and his community, thus, clearly rejecting the monolithical monarchical logic of sameness.[9]

In the light of the sociodiagnostic analysis  of Fanon, we might be enabled to view the colonial experience that we saw in Goa. The exceptional long life of the colonial era seems to suggest that there was a time when  Goans seemed to  have internalized the necessity of colonialism.  The critique of Tristao Braganza[10] with the framework of the de-nationalization of Goans brings it home beyond any shadow of doubt. Joa da Viega   Coutinho also brings this to light with the metaphor of coconut.[11] He points out that the Goans under the Portuguese have become like a coconut: white inside and the brown outside. The white superiority was unconsciously acknowledged  under colonialism and the afterlife of the colonialism in a post-colonial Goa is itself another important index that demonstrates that we have succumbed to the state of de-sensitization that fails to see in the eye of otherness. That is why although the Hindus and the Christians in Goa by and large come from the same biological tree, the soico-politico-religious  factors that evolved under colonialism has become a Lakximan reka among them. Within this framework, we need to understand that the issue is not that the Christians are Christians but the Christians are Christians in relation to the Hindus in Goa/India. It is here the logic of sameness afflicts us in so far as Christians/Muslims  are unthought as not-same by our Hindu brethren. Hence to be a Christian/Muslims vis-à-vis the Hindu community is logically thought to be an anti-national.

Lancan and the Monarchical Logic of sameness

Jacques Lacan’s thought virtually produced a new vision of a human being. Although his ideas are complex and illusive, they provide a profound insight into our life. His view that unconscious is the discourse of the other has deconstructed the Freudian view that unconscious was an unfathomable /libidinal powerhouse hiding behind our conscious volitional and rational self. Lacan as effectively brought about a comingling of thought and affect. He teaches that a kind of thinking that might be called as desiring exists prior to the condition for thought where visual as well as verbal are mingled and in tandem create a primordial lining of perception.[12]

Lacan divides our Psyche into three major structures that control our lives.  First is referred to as the Real. It is a state of nature from which we have been forever severed by our entrance into language. Only as neonatal children we were close to this state. This is a state of fullness or completeness that is subsequently lost by our entry into language. He calls it a state of fullness because in this state humans only seek satisfaction of their need and nothing else.  Although our entry into language  severed our relationship with it never really leaves us.  From the primordial need humans move to what Lacan calls demand. Needs can be fulfilled demands by definition are un-satisfiable. In this context, we are moving into a sort of lack that according Lacan defines the subject.  Once the child begin to understand that its body is separate from the world and mother, the child enters what Lacan calls imagination. The child feels the anxiety triggered by the loss of prenatal security ( loss of the state of nature). Hence, the child’s demand is to make the other a part of itself.  But demand cannot be satisfied and hence, the child set up an ideal-I or ideal-ego to compensate for the sense of loss or lack. This movement into the imaginary realm  continues to exert influence in the life of every adult.[13]

The imaginary realm is all about identification and equations and therefore becomes a precipitating ground for the monarchical logic of sameness. Hence from a Lacanian position the monarchical logic of sameness has its driving force from a relation of lack and is trapped in a narcissistic illusion of self reproduction. Lacan further identifies the third realm which he calls the symbolic order which is about language and narrative. Once the child enters language and accepts the rules and dictates of the society, it is enabled to deal with the society. While the real concerns needs, the imaginary realm is about demand, the symbolic order is all about desire. Once we enter language our desire is forever bound up with the language. The real and imagination continue to influence the desire in the realm of the symbolic order.  The reason detre of desire is not to realize its goal but to reproduce itself as desire.  Hence, desire is not a relation of object but a relation of a lack.  Here we can understand how monarchical logic of sameness emerges from a relation of lack and sustains itself through the domination of otherness.[14]

Within our Goan Context, we can discern how a relation of lack  resulted in the domination of the logic of sameness.  One might accept the Tristao Braganza’s thesis of de-nationalization of Goans since Goa accepted the foreign yoke almost four hundred and fifty years. At the same time the identity politics brewing in Goa among the religious communities might  seen as rooted in the relation of lack that produces a mimetic  desire. The desire to be like the other draws us to manage the otherness of the other through the logic of sameness.

 Habermas and the Logic of sameness

The seemingly noble goal of consensus built through communicative action as envisaged by  Jurgen Habermas is within the monarchical logic of sameness. Scholars like Ranciere teaches that consensus is defined by the idea of the proper and the distribution of the places of the proper and improper.[15] It this notion of proper and its right for a proper place underlies every hierarchy.  Within this hierarchy we might understand how in communication everyone’s speech is determined in terms of their proper place and their action in terms their proper function.[16]

One can find this concern for the proper in the communication action theory of Jurgen Habermas, although his theory has the laudable goal of reaching a consensus through public dialogue rather than exercise of power. His reliance on the ideal speech condition in which he rules out authority based on anything other than good argument already manifests it roots in the logic of sameness. Although the theory laudably challenges us to step outside the solipsism of ones life world, it is precisely here that it erases the specificity of the individual’s unique experience by imposing the universality of the system paradigm.

The critical approach Habermas does have the power to overturn unreflective action in favour of more self-reflective approach based on inter-subjectivity, rationality and force of argumentative speech. But the fact that it makes room for dissensus only at the lower rung on its way to consensus obtained by shear force of reason reveals its links with the logic of sameness. The fact that Habermasian approach challenges what came to be called the hermeneutic of idealism which is a way of conceptualizing of reality that is dependent on one’s own beliefs, values, and interpretations while at the same time remaining blind to their causes, backgrounds and wider connections that would contextualize them and help  those holding them to understand that they are only one set of beliefs among others is indeed a benevolent approach. Yet his demand that the otherness/dissent has to dissolve into the sameness of consensus achieved by the force of reason appears to impoverish his theory, since consensus becomes the condition as well as goal  of any form of dialogue.

Hetrarchical Logic of Otherness

Hetrarchical  logic of otherness strives to come to terms with that which is other without reducing it to the terms of the sameness of our own understanding. It attempts to interrogate the logocentric epistemological practices that emerge from the monarchical logic of sameness and generate a reflexive understanding of irreducibility of otherness and sets it free from the binary enslavement to the logic of sameness. The rotating hetralogical logic of otherness has great potential to promote authentic inter-religious dialogue.

Emanuel Levinas and the Otherness of the Other

Levinas teaches that Humans do violence to other humans when they perceive them under the horizon of the same.  The closed system of totalized thought  strives to explain all phenomena inclusively, exhaustively and definitely. The otherness is pre-judged  from the existing pre-conceptualization of the self. But the sheer presence of the other is unavoidable. It enters our world and demand attention in a way such as other things like trees or stones do.  Levinas teaches that the attempts to domesticate this inevitable experience of the  otherness of the other through a culture that smothers the other under the edifices and the categories of sameness of totalized sameness.[17]

The epiphanic event of the other disrupts the sameness of the self and breaks it expectation of totalized,  linearised, and hierachized  categories of Being constituted in the world.  This encounter with the otherness of the other is profound and it evokes the Infinity which from its exuding plenitude overflows and transcends the existing representational system of totalization. Such an encounter of the other cannot be represented. It cannot be re-absorbed into the existing  schemas  of conceptual totalization. It is an event of such a high magnitude that it reveals, manifests or discloses ‘ signification  without content’. In this context, Levinas teaches that the face of the other becomes the point of departure for the revelation of the other.[18]

The Levinasian approach takes us away from the myth of equality and the totalizing impulse of the monarchical logic of sameness. The ethical response that overflows from the encounter with the otherness of the other transforms the egoistic self of totalization to a self that primarily becomes ‘one for the other ‘.  The logic of otherness that is emerging from the teachings of Levinas is simultaneously  both a theophany as well as ethical response. This doubling relation manifests the new possibility of encountering the divine as ‘signification without content’. That is why one must say that  the very dialogical encounter and the entire process of inter-religious dialogue can become a site of a profound manifestation of the infinite. Hence, the Levinasian approach has great promises to all kinds of inter-faith dialogues.



The Decolonialty and the Logic of Otherness

We are interested in transforming the world by transforming the way the people see it, feel it and act in it.  The epistemologies of the South demonstrate that the monarchical logic of sameness is linked to colonialism. One might understand this when we try to understand how coloniality is constitutive of modernity. Many scholars from Latin America teach that there is no modernity without coloniality. In fact modernity emerged out of colonialism not after it  nor simply along side it. Scholars like Walter Mignolo, Leopold Zea, and Enrique Dussel state that coloniality is behind the rhetoric of modernity justifying all kinds of wars in order to eliminate barbarism and overcome tradition. Zea teaches that the identity, the rationality, and the very humanity of the people of the new world were ‘put on trial by the jury of its conqueror’.[19] Indeed, coloniality is the hidden weapon of both the civilizing and developmental mission of modernity.

Like the colonial conquistadors, neocolonialism is hiding behind the rhetoric of democracy and freedom. We can notice how imperialist nations like U.S use democracy and freedom to cover their neocolonialist  intentions. The invasion of Iraq and disguised war against terror can no longer hide its imperial intent. Thus developmentalism and progressivism is twined to neocolonialist discourse and propaganda today. The logic of sameness embedded in the colonial apparatus of power no longer goes unchallenged. De-colonial thinking and de-colonial options are born in contexts where the wounds of colonialism are still fresh.  De-colonial thinking is about thinking otherwise. It is a sort of de-modern thought that leads us to de-modernization through the severing of the links with modernity.  De-modernization does not mean going back in time. It is not going back to the dark ages.  In-order to understand it we need to view how modernity is juxtaposed with its dark other, tradition. De-colonialization deals with the wounds of colonialism and stives to bring about a de-colonializing of the colonial matrix. It evolves de-link form the rhetoric of modernity and the logic of coloniality.[20]

The ego-logical reason of modernism follows the logic of sameness and  binarizes  and produces what Quijano calls the coloniality of power .[21] Coloniality of power colonizes language, space time and history through the colonization of knowledge. Hence, we  need to inscribe  what Mignolo calls ‘ colonial difference’ into the order of representation. The Eurocentric imaginary of modernity has forgotten  colonialism and peripheralized colonial spaces and relegated its description of universal reality to the past. Hence, the task of the ‘colonial difference’ is to inscribe simultaneity.  With the help of his concept  of ‘colonial difference’  Mignolo  attempts to reveal and displace the logic of sameness by which the Europeans have represented their other. The colonial places  are  seen as existing on the same  historical trajectory but further behind, their goals are same but not achieved to the same degree. Their knowledge is subject to the same justificatory procedure, but it is less developed.  In this sense true otherness of the colonized becomes invisible and  unintelligible. By his term ‘colonial difference’ Mignolo attempts to break out of the logic of sameness.  The coloniality of power, in other words, produces, evaluates, and manages the colonial people. Hence, the interpretative frame of the coloniality of power is critically viewed through the relation of coloniality and its construction of the ‘colonial difference’.[22]  This firmly localizes the de-localizing tendency of the logic of sameness and proposes diversality in place of universality of  the logic of sameness. This approach can assist us to  overcome the politics of silence in the geopolitics of knowledge. It forcefully suggests that Greece can no longer be the point of reference for the entire world. This celebration of diversality can offer great impetus to inter-religious dialogue.

The Ethics of Dissensus and the Hetrarchical Logic of Otherness

The ethics of dissensus is based on the contestation rather than the assimilation of difference. It remains sensitive to the minority ways of being. It is an ongoing challenge to the consensual thought.  This is far from the  non-contestory  hermeneutics that is based on the emphasis  that at is placed either on the mediation of sameness of the common tradition (history) or by listening to the wholly other with the hope of reaching to consensus. This approach stresses the opacity of the otherness of the other and makes room for the other to speak in a tongue that is unknown to us. Thus ethics of dissensus not only attempts to create alternative hegemonic formulations in order to contest the reigning interlocking  patterns of domination but is a fundamental way of remaining humble by becoming conscious that our subjectivity is both inscribed and constrained by the hegemonic discursive practices that surround us as well as future possibilities of being imagined by us remain uncertain and indeterminate. Thus in a very real way otherness constitutes us. This means otherness is the condition of our being but it is marked by indeterminacy.

Ewa Plonoska Ziarek points out that we become mindful of the otherness in us in our postmodern world because the power structures of the world attempt to objectify us into docile subjects of their design.  This invasion into our deepest selves generates resistance. Within this framework Ziarek proposes an ethics of dissensus that takes into account what she calls an ethos of becoming with an ethos of obligation. Following Foucault who teaches that self is function of various practices of regulation of identity,  She teaches that the subject is a product of the power structures yet asserts that the subject has the capacity to move beyond the injustices of history that show up in social positionality and encounters with otherness.  That is why democracy is defined as that form of society that continuously  inscribes, the possibility of  impossibility of inscribing the subject.[23]

The second component of the ethics of dissensus  as proposed  by Ziarek is what she calls an ethos of obligation. It is based on the sense of responsibility and the extraordinary receptivity and responsiveness of a subject to the call of the other. This and what we have above brings her project within what has been described as the psychic life of power.  Thus, the ethos of obligation (being a response to the call of the other) flows from the inter-subjective relations of profound respect for otherness in the other.  It contests the familiar reduction of all forms of otherness to the friend/enemy opposition and  accounts for a solidarity transcends the narrow view of coalition  grounded in ‘ wounded narcissism’. [24]

Towards the Liberation of Reason

The reductionist and homogeninzing logic of sameness can no longer become invisible. We have already tried to expose how there are sustain critical attempts that expose its poisonous fangs. It cannot operate as Freud’s unconscious and hold the Goan Community captive to its framework.  We can notice a wave of therapeutic awareness that has stuck Goa and Goans are slowly but steadily beginging to be open to the logic of otherness.

From identity Politics to Politics in Identity  

We can trace a discourse that claims the power to classify and name different relgious groups in our society. This naming of the different communities is a disciplinary practice and is grounded in the monarchical logic of sameness. The Christians define the others from the principle of sameness  when they name the Hindus and the Muslims as non-christians or the Hindus view  Christians or Muslims as non-National though the construction of nationalism on the basis of the logic of sameness and therby rendering the christians and the muslims as lacking the same.  Such a clasification and the naming process becomes the igniting force of the identity politics that is brewing in Goa.  Idendity politics denounces every form of otherness as inferior and impure and demonizes it as evil.

The politics in Indentity  de-links from the epistemic  foundations of the logic of sameness and attempts to understand how egological reason produces a politics of idendity. Hence, a kind of de-egolozisation  of reason  is urgent. This means we need to learn to unlearn our uncrtical dependence on the logic of sameness by which we otherize the other. This othering of the other based on the logic of sameness can be unlearnt. Our understading of the politics in our identities can transform our indentity politics and render it salubrious so that all can co-exists.

From Co-presence to Co-existence

The illumination of the politics in Identity brings into foucs the non-dispensibility of the other. The other is simulataneus and co-present to the self. The fact the self profoundly and intimatly experience itself as another in the context of another manifests the self that is construed on the hermeutics of same is certainly inadequate. Within this frame of thought we can see how the politics in identities become relational. It is not a challenge to be a Hindu or Christian or a Muslim. But is a challenge to be Christian in relation to a Hindu and Muslim and visa versa, just as it is not a challenge to be a black but it becomes a great challenge to be a black in relation to a white.

The relational resoning takes us from the realm of co-presence to the realm of Co-existence.  This enables us to open ourselves to the otherness of the other. The discovery of the self as the other and the imperative of the other will become a new springtime for the ethics of dissensus. Consensus is good and yet grounded in the logic of sameness. The ethics of dissensus being based on the solo condition of the respect of the otherness becomes indeed a liberation of our ensalved reason.

From Politics of Representaion to the Representation of Politics    

The effort in this study has been directed towards the exposition of the politics of representation that is underpinned by the monarchical logic of sameness. Hence, our effort becomes a representation of the politics representation. Such a representation of the politics of representation brings to visibility or gives voice to that which is rendered invisible or silent by the monarchical logic  of sameness.

The representation of the politics of representation brings into light the dark side of the light of logic of sameness. Such an illumination does dispose us to the broadening dynamism of the logic of otherness  and lead us to make room for diversality in place of homogeninzing universality that becomes the iron cage of the mortachical logic of sameness. Hence, repesentation of the politcs of represetation is an interogation of the politics of representation emerging chielfy from the monarchical logic of sameness.


Seeking a Theological Response

The Chrisitianity tradition can become a powerful resource in our effort to respond to the monarchical logic of sameness.  There are already many reponses that were developed by Christians over the period of time.  Within this frame work I suggest that we in Goa can strive to evolve a theology of otherness that is strongly founded in the theology of Trinity.

Theology of Otherness

A Christian response to the logic of sameness can be drawn from the theology of the Holy Trinity where the otherness is profoundly central to the life of the triune God. But the logic of sameness seems to have affected Christians and we seem to have not been able to explore the theological profoundness the mystery of trinity in our quest to respond to plurality of every hue and colour. Perhaps Karl Rahner seem to succinctly puts it when he says, “ Christians are, in their life almost mere ‘monotheists’’[25]. This is brought to light by the title of the document on Trinity of the British Council of Churches which reads ‘the forgotten Trinity’.[26] Within this context, the theology of otherness can become an important response to the amnesia of the Holy Trinity.

In India, the theology of otherness that attempted to respond to plurality has been chiefly centered on the Logos approach or neumatological approach. One might identity the path making work of Raimundo Panikkar as an illustration of the logos approach which draws its links with Logos Spermatikos of the Church Fathers. The Logos Spermatikos teaches that the seeds of the Word are present in the people of other faith. Panikkar appears to echo this approach in his proposal of an ‘Unknown Christ of Hinduism’.  In the same way, we can trace that Jacques Dupuis evolved a theological response with a strong emphasis on the theology of the Holy Spirit.

With the same tradition, one might place Rahner’s theological insight about the anonymous Christians. Rahner seem to have built his approach mainly on theological anthropology and could trace the disciples of Christ beyond the visible boundaries of Christianity. Here I wish to suggest that a theology of otherness could be build with its foundations in the Holy Trinity.  The profound insight, Perichoresis  of the early  Greek church fathers  standing for the dynamic and mutual indwelling of the Holy Trinity, can indeed become a model of relating to the plurality in our daily experience. Though our plural contexts is a house of irreducible and irreconcilable difference yet we can work bring about dialogue walking the Trinitarian path and build communion unto the likeness of the Holy Trinity.  Otherness that is central to the Trinitarian communion becomes the model and the source of our inter-human dialogical communion.

The Perichoretic space of communion

The transformations of our relationships that make room for diversity and otherness can convert our living place into liberated space of communion akin to the life of the triune God. The conversion of the living space into the perchoretic space will convert our society into a civilization of love where every shade of otherness is allowed to flower, bloom and fructify. It is civilization of love that offers just living conditions to everyone and hence is fundamentally build on the foundations of truth, justice and love. It dynamic space as we continuously attempt to build a community of love unto the likeness of the communion of Saints in Heaven.   This space can be build by following the spirituality of communion as taught by the Pope ST. John Paul II.

Becoming God’s Welcome to All 

Becoming God’s welcome to all is the incarnation of the Trinitarian live of love and communion. It invites us to tangibalize God’s embrace  and hold every one particularly the poor and the oppressed into the orbit of our life. This means no one is  unhomed in our society. We are living in a bar coded society where inter-community boundaries are set by our rigid, caste, region divides. Hence, we need to break these boundaries to bring everyone into out embrace.  Peace is possible on the basis of acceptance of all without any condition. This acceptance and celebration of the other will enable us to become God’s welcome to everyone.


Our study reveals that the monarchical logic of sameness is at the roots of inter-religious condition in Goa.  We have also shown that it is only through the liberation of our reason that we can set our Goan society free and build authentic peace and harmony for all.



[1] See Edward Said, Orientalism ( New York: Vintage, 1979)

[2] Ibid , pp.  1-3.

[3] Ibid, p. 5.

[4] 451 years of colonial rule in Goa

[5] See Franz Fanon, Black Skins and White Masks , trans. Charles Lam Markmann (London: Pluto Press, 1967).

[6] See Asish Nandy. The Intimate Emeny: The Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialization (New Delhi: Oxord University Press, 1983).

[7] See Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonizing the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature (London: James Currey , 19 86).

[8] Franz Fanon, Black Skins and White Masks, pp. vi- xx.

[9] Ibid.

[10]  See Victor Ferrao, Being a Goan Christian: The Politics of Idendity, Rift and Synthesis (Panjim: Broad Way Publishers, 2011) p. 62.

[11] See Joa Da Veiga Coutinho, A kind of Absence: Life in the Shadow of History (Stamford: Yuganta Press, 1997).

[12] Jean-Michele Rabate, Ed. , Cambridge Companion to Lacan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

[13] Darian Leader and Judy Groves, Introducing Lacan ( Cambridge: Icon Books, 2000).

[14] Ibid

[15] See Jacques Ranciere, Dissensus : on Politics and Aesthetics (London: Continuum International Publishing Group 2010), p. 2.

[16] See Jurgen Habermas, Reason and Rationalization of Socieity Vol. I of the theory of Communicative Action , Trans. Thomas MacCarthy (Boston: Beacon Press, 1981).

[17] See Emanuel Levinas , Totality and infinity : An Essay on Exteriority , Trans.  Alphonso Lingis  (Pittsburg: Duquesne University  Press, 1969).

[18] Ibid.

[19] See Linda Matin Alcoff, “Mignolo’s Epistmology of colonization” in Project Muse Scholarly Journal online, p. 81.

[20]  Ibid , pp. 82-85.

[21] Ibid , p. 86.

[22] See Walter Mignolo, Local Histories / Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern knowleges and Border Thinking (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

[23] See Ewa Plonowska Ziarek , An Ethics of Dissensus : Postmodernity, Feminism and the Politics of Radical Democracy (Stanford : Stanford University Press, 2001).

[24]  Ibid .

[25]  See Karl Rahner, The Trinity, Trans. J  Donceel (London: Burns and Oates, 1986), p.10.

[26] See The Forgotten Trinty: Report of the BCC study Commision on Trintarian Doctrine Today ( London: British Council of Churches ,Inter-Church House, 1989).

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

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