It is not only the three ‘religions of the Book’ that are implicated in bloodshed. A spiritual classic of the East offers an even more troubling conjunction of mystical vision and bloody action. Many Christians know the Bhagavad-gîtâ as ‘the gospel of selfless action’, and associate its contemplative perspectives with those of the Fourth Gospel. Perhaps we could revise or renew both of these perceptions if we reinserted the Gîtâ in its wider epic context, the Mahâbharata. Read in isolation, in the sixties and seventies, the Gîtâ fueled pacifist idealism, New Age spirituality, and a Christian ecumenical outreach to Hinduism. Recently the wider epic context has become more accessible, thanks to the translations of Biardeau and van Buitenen and the theatrical version of Peter Brook. If we can read the Gîtâ in counterpoint with this context, it may take us beyond sanitized and spiritualized notions of Hinduism to an ancient India that has the dimensions of real life rather than being confined to mystic concerns. The lucid wisdom of the Gîtâ, and that of the Fourth Gospel too, must be brought into interaction with the murkier realm of practical engagements, so that ethics and spirituality can become more incarnational, more rooted in the complex texture of people’s lives.
The more we dip into the enormous, all-inclusive epic, the more we discover that ‘Hindu inclusivism’ is not a bland fusion but revels in the tense co-existence of contradictory ethical perspectives. This inclusivism does not abolish the ordeal of pluralism, but rather thrives on it. Current Roman Catholic inclusivism, inspired by Vatican II, is kept on a leash by the fear of relativism, or by an unwillingness to tolerate and live with contradictions. What the Indian epic suggests is that life itself is pluralistic, rife with contradictions that we cannot fully sort out this side of eternity. The spiritual counsels of the Gîtâ, set against this background, are no longer abstract principles but concrete responses to situations that they cannot entirely master. This gives them a more tense, open-ended, dialectical, and convincing character.
Readers unfamiliar with the epic context are likely to treat the first section of the Gîtâ as mere scene-setting, failing to register that this lofty devotional poem is located on a battlefield, in an interval of suspended decision before the parties finally ‘cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war’. Even though the poem was probably added at a late stage, its strategic placing at the threshold of the central catastrophic action of the Mahâbharata reflects how firmly it is anchored in the dharma debate that pervades the epic and that focuses especially on the ethics of violence and war.
The opening line of the Gîtâ, dharmaksetre kuruksetre, ‘in the field of righteousness, the field of the Kurus’, is a paradox. It is uttered by the blind father of the hundred Kauravas, who represent the forces of evil in the war that pits them against their cousins, the Pândavas, and who thus can scarcely claim to have dharma, righteousness, on their side. Yet it names the fundamental issue at stake in this war. In the vast mythic scheme of the epic, this war is a war for the survival of dharma in an evil age. Moreover, every action of the war involves decisions for or against righteousness. The parallel of dharma and kuru – righteousness and the unrighteous – may hint at the tension between dharma and the moral anarchy that war unleashes, even if they believe in an ultimate resolution of that tension and seek to defend the ethics of the warrior (ksatriya) caste. How can a war on behalf of dharma avoid betraying the very values for which it is fought? More positively, the apposition between dharma and kuru may suggest that justice is not to be sought elsewhere than in the field of human action, in all its ambiguity and bloodiness.
The protagonists of the epic are often torn between conflicting duties, laboring under ‘unresolvable moral dilemmas’ or double binds. None of them remain pure knights who hold the Grail of dharma ever in view. Different authors added new levels of complexity to the ever swelling text, not only in thickening or expanding the plot, but also in introducing alternative valuations of deeds and motives. The ethical problems accumulate and are discussed in great detail, yet their resolution is so elusive that at the very end of the epic there is doubt as to whether it is the Pândavas or the Kauravas who deserve to be sent to hell. The epic does not ‘tip its hand’ by giving a final evaluation of its characters, nor are the moral tensions dialectically resolved. ‘The building up of contradictions … is in part a result of expansion of the text through the centuries on the basis of a loose oral core; in part it seems to be, regarding questions of faith, all too true to life’. Could not the same be said of the Bible? We have allegorized away the moral tensions and contradictions of Scripture for centuries, but perhaps we need to read it as we would read the Mahâbharata, as the record of a history of moral conflict, whose open-ended questions can teach us more than dogmatic closure would.
Yudhisthira, leader of the Pândavas, is the son of the god Dharma, while the eldest of the Kauravas, Duryodhana, incarnates the demon Kali. Yet there are good people on the bad side, ‘the fighting of the elders on the Kaurava side serving as a plot device to emphasize this complexity, particularly when it is stated that they continue to pray for a Pandava victory’. To complicate matters further, the conduct of the war is marked by many unethical actions on Pândava side. They distinguish themselves more than their cousins by their proficiency in nasty tricks. Krishna himself, though lofty in the Gîtâ, is a treacherous trickster figure in much of the wider story, a god of dubious shifts and stratagems. As an incarnation of Vishnu, he has the role of restoring order in time of chaos. But it is he who counsels all the dirty tricks that are allowed in a time of chaos (âpad-dharma). When at Yudhishtira’s enthronement (Book II) Krishna is criticized in the name of dharma by the mocking king Sisupâla, the critic is punished by decapitation. His demythologizing attitude to Krishna and his deeds is not the sort of examination of dharma that the epic approves of. We cannot expect from Krishna a searching Buddhist analysis of warrior codes of honor, in which trickery has a rightful place, and in which the abduction of women as brides is a warrior’s right.
The cosmological setting of the story in a time of decline, heading for the night of destruction (pralaya) between two epochal cycles (yuga), creates the feeling that conditions are so unpropitious that dharma can survive only by the skin of its teeth. On the human level, the epic is imbued with ‘a pessimistic view of dharma which is precisely opposite that emphasized at the heroic level’; ‘uncertainty regarding dharma becomes a defining factor of the human condition’. The grisly and pathetic deaths described are less painful than this moral anxiety, which no victory can dissolve and which makes the relatively passive Yudhisthira rather than his warrior brother Arjuna the central character. Yudhisthira embodies ‘the primary ideal of the epic’, not heroism or knowledge or devotion, but a mournful concern for threatened dharma.
In continuity with the epic context, the Gîtâ begins by evoking the problematic aspects of the war situation, refusing to simplify them. Pacifist readings like Gandhi’s allegorize the battlefield, and even those who have invoked the poem as a charter of revolution gloss over the fact that the war in which Arjuna has to fight is a fratricidal one, not a straightforward conflict of good against evil. The ethics of the war have been rehearsed at length and have turned out to be murky in the extreme. Does the Gîtâ sustain the stress of the ethical complexity of the epic, or does it offer a facile escape from it? Religious and ethical idealism tends to simplify the ethical texture of history, which is like a palimpsest crisscrossed a thousand times. The Gîtâ no doubt simplifies it too, but at least it begins with an effort to face it. We need not assume that it succeeds in transcending the moral tensions through passage to a higher, immune spiritual plane.
In the figure of Arjuna we see a heroic ethics undermined by human doubt which is resolved by religious wisdom. The combination of these three aspects makes Arjuna ‘an encyclopedic character’, and perhaps an inconsistent one. He performs many deeds as simple hero, without any ethical complications. But the Gîtâ poet attaches his work not to such innocent initiation feats, reminiscent of Siegfried, but to a scene of torment and treachery comparable to Götterdämmerung. It is to the troubled, reflective, post-heroic human that Krishna addresses his encouragements, and Arjuna responds not by heroics but by fulfilling his human duties, and by learning the values of jnâna and bhakti that enable him to do so.
The Kauravas blow their conch-shells and the Pândavas reply with a tumultuous uproar that rends the hearts of their enemies. But when Arjuna has Krishna draw up the chariot between the two armies for their long conference, the register of martial heroics is left behind and the scene of action is suspended for one of reflection and judgment. This untimely meditation begins with Arjuna’s assessment of the human cost of the war about to start, and it rises to Krishna’s divine accounting of human and cosmic affairs. Arjuna’s survey of the enemy host strikes an unheroic note: ‘When I see my own people arrayed and eager for fight, O Krishna, my limbs quail, my mouth goes dry, my body shakes and my hair stands on end’ (1:28-9). ‘Why should we not have the wisdom to turn away from this sin?’ (1:39). He foresees a long train of evils resulting from the war, including the destruction of social bonds and distinctions and the breakdown of law. He prefers to be slain in battle rather than to bear the guilt of these consequences. Arjuna in his depression sounds rather like the pacifist Buddhist monarch, Asoka, and that is perhaps not a coincidence; it has been surmised that the epic as a defense of warrior ethics against Asoka’s one-sided glorification of ahimsâ (non-violence), seen as hypocritical; its heroes, especially Yudhishthira, face more honestly the clash of values between ahimsâ and the duty to kill.
The encouraging charioteer, similar to Laeg in the Tain Bo Cualinge, has to overcome here a radical ethical revolt against the bloody business of war. From the point of view of the ethics of the warrior caste, Arjuna’s is a lily-livered attitude. One writer speaks of Arjuna’s depression as an ‘emotional problem’ and dismisses most of the reasons he gives for it: ‘external factors such as the impropriety of killing relatives, danger of the mixture of castes etc.’; Arjuna’s display of compassion is disqualified since ‘this was certainly not his first experience of war’; his fear of killing his own teachers and above all his doubt whether the Pândavas will win are treated as the deepest reasons. Surely such a reading is a defensive reaction to the troubling issue here raised. A similar defensiveness, repressing awareness of the foreseeable results of war, has recurred throughout history whenever war has been declared. The clamor of the conch-shells has always served to rouse the martial spirit and repress thoughts that must inevitably cause depression and paralysis.
But the Gitâ itself might be seen in the same terms, as a grandiose pep-talk sweeping away Arjuna’s realistic insights. ‘In order to get Arjuna back on his feet, Krsna has to deal with all aspects of Arjuna’s psychological breakdown… The shape of Krsna’s discourse is primarily circumscribed by this task’. The ethical aspect of Arjuna’s depression is not adequately addressed; he is assured that a just war is auspicious for a warrior (2:31). All that remains is to encourage him to do his duty. On these terms, the poem is inspiriting; it goes to the roots of Arjuna’s depression and provides a comprehensive guide to spiritual health. Anyone plagued by the discouraging question, ‘What’s the use?’ will find a powerful medicine here. The poem conveys the energy it preaches, and enables its hearers to perform the deeds demanded by duty as acts of enlightenment and freedom, sustained by the grace that flows from devoted adherence to Krishna, and in Krishna to the ultimate divinity.
The core teaching of the Gîtâ is desireless action, to do one’s duty without attachment to the fruits of action, in freedom and detachment. This is the basis on which the spirituality of the Gîtâ is built. The other dimensions of its spirituality or yoga are associated with bhakti, jnâna, buddhi, but the foundation lies in karma-yoga. Action is sanctified in two ways in the Gîtâ, both of which represent an interiorization of the ethics of sacrifice. The devout ksatriya performs his sacrifice not merely in the external actions of battle, but in sacrificing those actions themselves in the fires of knowledge and devotion, jnâna and bhakti. Devotional sanctification of action is a practice well known in traditional Catholicism. In jnâna, however, actions become occasions of enlightenment. One’s works are ‘burned up in the fire of jnâna’ (4.19). ‘The fire of jnâna turns to ashes all work’ (4.36). Works disappear as such and the sole action that is really being performed is the realization of insight. ‘The work of a man whose attachments are sundered, who is liberated, whose mind is firmly founded in jnâna, who does work as a sacrifice, is dissolved entirely’ (4.24). The content of the insight is nondual identification of the acting self with the supreme reality: ‘For him the act of offering is God (brahma), the oblation is brahma, by brahma it is offered into the fire of brahma, brahma is that which is to be attained by him who realizes brahma in his works’ (4.25). In Mahâyâna Buddhism, enlightened action realizes emptiness – the emptiness of the agent, the act, and the one to whom the act is directed.
Action has this mystical, enlightened character in Pauline thought as well, so much so that the agent of Christian actions is sometimes spoken of as God himself (Phil. 2:13), or Christ (Gal. 2:20), or the Spirit (Rom. 8:16). The Johannine community conceive the actions of love as being born of God, knowing God, mutual abiding in Christ and in God (see Jn 15.5; 1 Jn 4.7, 12). Such mystical declarations are accompanied by more practical down to earth accounts of Christian life, as when Paul explains ‘Christ lives in me’ as ‘the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ (Gal. 2.20), or when John combines nondual utterances with injunctions to keep the commandments. Christian action is less a passive subjection to the movement of the Spirit, than a reflective obedience in faith to divine commands and human demands. Such action is godlike not in some pantheistic fusion but in that it represents or reflects in a limited and finite way the goodness of the Creator, meriting for those who engage in it the name ‘children of God’ (see Mt. 5.9, 48). Hindu and Buddhist statements that sound abstruse and esoteric can also be translated into such homely, realistic terms.
Spiritually sensitive people to see action as a distraction from the life of the spirit. Saint Bernard exhorts his protégé Pope Eugene III: ‘Tell me, when are you ever free, ever safe, ever your own? Everywhere clamor, everywhere tumult, everywhere the yoke of your servitude presses you’ (De Consideratione I 3). The life of business is not only servile; it is positively polluting, associating one with ‘the ambitious, the greedy, simoniacs, the sacrilegious, chamberers, the incestuous’; ‘What is more servile and unworthy, especially for the supreme pontiff, than every day, or rather every hour, to sweat over such things and for such people?’ (I 4). In Mahâyâna Buddhism the bodhisattva strives to unite the commitment of compassion and the wisdom of emptiness, developing both in tandem, and correcting one by the other. The perfect conjunction of the two remains elusive. Compassion is a descent into the messy world of action and of the passions. Like Arjuna, the Buddha was reluctant to make this descent and had to be persuaded by divine counselors. Arjuna’s line of action is of a grosser order than the Buddha’s, but the Gîtâ draws on the same level of spiritual wisdom to justify and hallow the warrior’s actions. Such purification of action could perhaps help the soldier whose deeds are objectively ‘polluting’ but can be accomplished ‘cleanly’ by adherence to the code of bravery and honor. All of this could lead to a schizophrenic version of simul iustus et peccator thinking, whereby an injection of piety vaccinates one against moral doubt, or even to what Karen Armstrong identifies as ‘antinomian fundamentalism’, wherein the believer shows the depth of his faith in performing immoral actions.
The poem speaks of action as a form of bondage, but there is little recognition that the realm of action is tangled and complex in a specifically ethical sense. Arjuna is told he can escape bondage to action if he makes his work a sacrifice (3.9) and if he purifies it by spiritual detachment. This seems a rather tangential answer to his initial questions. Some verses use Arjuna’s moral doubts as stepping-stones to wisdom. The moral difficulties of action become another motive for surrendering it God. ‘Surrendering in thought all actions to Me’, Arjuna will be enabled to ‘cross over all difficulties’ (18.57-8). The law of dharma itself is relativized, not so much in its content as in its primacy for the warrior: ‘Abandoning all duties (sarvadharmân parityaya), come to me alone for shelter’ (18.66). It is perhaps the danger of such ‘freedom from the law’, the danger of antinomianism, that prompts the warning that immediately ensues: ‘Never is this to be spoken by thee to one who is not austere in life or who has no devotion in him’ (18.67). This can sound as if the poem does not take the ethical issues raised by Arjuna with ultimate seriousness; they are attributed to ‘self-conceit’ (18.59) and are overridden by a fatalistic argument: he will do his duty even against his will, for ‘the Lord abides in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna, causing them to turn round by His power as if they were mounted on a machine’ (18.61). Such statements seem to look away from the moral realism with which the poem began.
They also seem to carry the implication that God is responsible for evils and is ontologically identified with them. ‘Whatever states of being there may be, by they harmonious (sâttvika), passionate (râjasa), slothful (tâmasa) – know thou that they are all from Me alone’ (7.12). Compare the God of the Old Testament who says, ‘I create good and I create evil’ (Isaiah 45.7), and who boasts of creating the monster Leviathan (Job 41). We must read these statements as affirmations of divine sovereignty, not as literal involvement of God in evil or destruction. The Gîtâ clears God of direct involvement in evil: ‘I am the strength of the strong, devoid of desire and passion. In being am I the desire which is not contrary to law’ (7.11). The poem ‘repeatedly manifests a tendency to find God only in the best or highest forms of existence. The worse and lower forms are at least implicitly left out’. Sometimes this leads to a stress on divine transcendence that seems to contradict the verses stressing immanence: ‘All being abide in Me, but I do not abide in them’ (9.4). ‘I am not in them, they are in me’ (7.12).
Another argument that overrides Arjuna’s Hamletian qualms invokes the immortality of souls. Death is an illusion; when the body is cast off the soul goes on to other destinies. ‘He who thinks that this slays and he who thinks that this is slain; both of them fail to perceive the truth; this one neither slays nor is slain. He is never born, nor does he die at any time, nor having (once) come to be will he again cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, permanent and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain’ (2.19-20). Chanting such verses one can mesmerize oneself into an assurance that the grim spectacle of mass slaughter is merely a surface phenomenon, and that the destiny of souls is regulated by an invisible providence working beyond the scenes. Râmânuja in his commentary even speaks of death as a joy: ‘Killing means nothing but “separating the âtman from the body”… the annihilation of the body is a reason for joy, for when one has abandoned one’s lowly body in lawful warfare, then, so the sâstras assert, one will receive a beautified body in return; it is like throwing away one’s old dress and putting on a new one’. Since the epic presents war as a sacrificial action, with the ksatriya as the Brahmin of the battlefield, one may even see oneself as doing a service to one’s enemies by dispatching them in this sacral action.
Arjuna is not totally freed of his scruples by Krishna’s arguments. He ‘continues to avoid elders and teachers in battle. It seems that this sort of hesitation contributes to Arjuna’s unforeseen inability to win in fair combat’. Hamlet similarly places the imperative to action, sanctioned by authoritative voices, in a context where action seems immoral. In Shakespeare, this scepticism indicates a crisis of belief in the medieval Christian world-view. In the epic, scepticism affects the values of the warrior caste and more generally the trust in dharma itself. Arjuna’s decision to fight no doubt emblematizes the overcoming of scepticism that the epic is always aiming at. Conversely, the constant ethical worry of the epic is what lends its full force to Arjuna’s reflective heroic resolve. Yet this resolution is not a logical solution to the moral quandaries. Action implies a leap beyond its premises; these can never be so clear as to guarantee that the action is risk-free, protected against error or a tragic outcome. As Derrida has stressed so often, true decision is born only in a situation of undecidability.
My appraisal of Arjuna must remain approximative and superficial. But it may be that even the most profound ventures in this region are condemned to fall short in the end. A religion is a rich, complex, inscrutable historical formation, ‘the result of sometimes opposed tendencies, the synthesis of ideas, aspirations, events, that have arisen from various points of the horizon and that a comprehensive judgment seeks to bind together’. A cross-religious encounter can only multiply these tensions and complexities, challenging judgment at a more radical level. Having pressed the human flesh of different religions as shown in their texts, one will sense more and more in them the complexity of human life itself, which a mature religious vision will never override.
 See The Gospel of Selfless Action or The Gita According to Gandhi, ed. M. Desai (Ahmedabad: Navajivan, 1984); Kenneth J. Saunders, The Gospel for Asia: A Study of Three Religious Masterpieces: Gita, Lotus, and Fourth Gospel (New York: Macmillan, 1928); Geoffrey Parrinder, Upanishads, Gita, and Bible: A Comparative Study of Hindu and Christian Scriptures (London: Faber and Faber, 1962).
 I quote the Gîtâ in the translation of S. Radhakrishnan, The Bhagavadgita (New Delhi: Indus, 1993).
 Bimal Krishna Matilal, ‘Krsna: In Defence of a Devious Divinity’, in Arvind Sharma, ed. Essays on the Mahâbhârata (Leiden: Brill, 1991), 401-18; here 404.
 Yuvraj Krishan, The Doctrine of Karma (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1997), 271.
 Ruth Cecily Katz, Arjuna in the Mahabharata (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1989), p. 173.
 The epic ‘concentrates more on such tricks, multiplies them, explores them from all angles, and disapproves of them at length, in a way the Iliad never does’ (Katz, 169). The Pândavas win by trickery: ‘all their ultimately effective actions in the war are opposed to the Indian rules of warrior chivalry reiterated in the epic… One must note that Arjuna himself is the central agent in many of these actions, and that his decisive victories in battle may be reduced uniformly to the perpetration of improper acts’ (p. 155).
 ‘To combat the demons who were overrunning the earth, Brahmâ formulated a plan according to which all the gods became incarnate’ (Bruce M. Sullivan, Krsna Dvaipâyana Vyâsa and the Mahâbhârata [Leiden: Brill , 1990], p. 57).
 See Jean-Pierre Osier, Les jaina: Critiques de la mythologie hindoue (Paris: Cerf, 2005), 19-20.
 Katz, 175.
 Katz, 174.
 Krishan, 266.
 ‘Throughout the Mahâbhârata a continuing antiwar sentiment is to be found… It is interspersed with the heroic episodes of the epic in such a way as to cast doubt on their very validity, the pendulum swinging back and forth again and again, but appears in its most concentrated form in Book V, during which various conciliatory missions to avoid the impending war are sent out by the two sides’ (Katz, 130).
 Katz, 272.
 The episode of the Burning of the Khandava Forest (MBh I 214-19) illustrates the primeval heroic mode. Here martial ecstasy borders on the berserk. ‘The hero’s joy in battle and use of brute force are glorified in a situation where there are no human victims’ (Katz, 73). ‘The incident takes place during an amoral and chronologically premoral stage in the heroes’ lives’ (81), and is of an initiatory kind. Again, in the battle with the Nivatakavachas (III 168), ‘the issue of human warfare has not yet been faced… Arjuna is performing the perfect Indra role of demon fighter’ (Katz, 92). Even in episodes in which he fights against his father Indra or against Shiva, it is all good clean heroic fun. ‘Arjuna’s main purpose in fighting Indra is simply to prove himself a man in his father’s eyes’ (Katz, 81).
 See Jerrod L. Whitaker, ‘Hinduism, Classical,’ in Encyclopedia of Religion and War, ed. Gabriel Pilwer-Fernandez (New York: Routledge, 2003), p. 162.
 ‘In a move unprecedented by any other Indo-European epic hero, and absolutely unexpected in view of his earlier successes, Arjuna sits down and refuses to fight at the start of the Kurukshetra war, not out of pride (as in the cases of Karna, and Achilles in the Iliad), but out of disgust with war: he acts out what Yudhishthira always threatens, but never actually does’ (Katz, 127).
 Madhav M. Deshpande, ‘The Epic Context of the Bhagavadgîtâ’, in Sharma, 334-48; here 335-6.
 Deshpande, 346. The climax of the poem, when Krishna reveals his divine form, has the narrative function of clinching the argument: ‘In the cosmic form of Krsna, Arjuna sees the Kaurava heroes entering into the mouth and being chewed up and destroyed. Even a traditional commentator like Sankara recognizes that the purpose of this cosmic form being shown to Arjuna is to remove his doubt about his victory once and for all’ (ibid.). Beyond that, the scene conveys a fatalistic sense that everything is in the hands of God.
 Radhakrishnan rather nervously assures us that ‘the Supreme desires our free co-operation when beauty and goodness are born without travail and effortlessly’ (The Bhagavadgita, 374), but the language of the poem here hardly supports this gloss.
 Franklin Edgerton, The Bhagavad-Gîtâ (Harvard University Press, 1972), 149. ‘God will presently enumerate the various forms of his dominion in functional co-ordination with himself; this enumeration… comprises only those forms which are paramount in this world. So among the âdityas He is the paramount one, Visnu; among all luminaries He is the paramount one, the sun…’ (van Buitenen, 125). Hegel found this list of paramount titles ‘empty and fatiguing’: ‘only one and the same thing is constantly presented, however rich the fantasy that it at first seems to spread before us’ (Vorlesungen über die Aesthetik I [ Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1970], 473). Râmânuja may have felt the same; at least he does not ask for any further accounts: ‘But why should one know all this in detail? This knowledge alone may suffice: that God with an infinitesimal fraction of his majesty supports the entire universe’ (van Buitenen, 126).
 J.A.B. van Buitenen, Râmânuja on the Bhagavadgîtâ. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1968), 56. Râmânuja’s commentary on the Gîtâ sounds so close to Plato – who defined death as the separation of soul from body, its release from the prison of the senses – that one is tempted to posit a historical connection between the Pythagorean sources of Plato and Indian wisdom. ‘What has originated will inevitably perish and what has perished will inevitably originate’ (van Buitenen, 57). Compare Phaedo 72a: ‘Living people are born from the dead no less than dead people from the living’; 77c: ‘all that is living comes from that which is dead’ (trans. D.Gallop).
 Katz, 158.
 Henry Duméry, Philosophie de la religion II: Catégorie de foi (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1957), 7.