Rama Coomaraswamy

Dr. Rama P. Coomaraswamy (1929-2006), son of the renowned perennialist writer Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, was in his own right
an important writer on traditionalist topics, especially regarding Christianity and the influx of modernistic ideas and practices in this ancient apostolic tradition.

Rama P. Coomaraswamy received his early education in India in an orthodox Hindu setting. He then spent several years in America, Canada and England where he obtained his Oxford Matriculation. Graduating from Harvard University with a major in Geology, he went on to medical school, graduating in 1959. He spent 8 years in post-graduate training and then some 30 years as a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon, holding the position of Assistant Professor of Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, as well as Chief of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Stamford Hospital. Subsequent to some heart difficulties, he retired from the practice of surgery and retrained in psychiatry, in which field he also held an Assistant Professorship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Although raised in the Hindu tradition, after the death of his father, Rama would convert to Catholicism. He was a firm traditionalist and an ardent student of Church history and theology. For five years in his later life he was Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the St. Thomas Aquinas (Lefebrist) Seminary. He also always maintained his interest in traditionalist metaphysics and in traditional art. Dr. Coomaraswamy published extensively both in the fields of medicine and theology. His works include, The Destruction of the Christian Tradition and The Invocation of the Name of Jesus (1999). He was married for 50 years, had six children, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In his last years he taught, and maintained a small practice in psychiatry, mostly dealing with problems involving the interface between religion and psychiatry.

Besides his own book, a collection of his father’s writing that he edited (The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy), he also contributed an essay, “Ancient Beliefs or Modern Superstitions” to the World Wisdom book The Betrayal of Tradition: Essays on the Spiritual Crisis of Modernity, edited by Kenneth (Harry) Oldmeadow.

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