Isaac Portilla's Biography
ISAAC PORTILLA, PhD, FRAS, is an academic, philosopher, and theologian. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of St Andrews (Scotland). His academic work, initially developed at the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (St Andrews), focuses on the encounter of spiritual traditions (including interreligious dialogue), mystical consciousness, hermeneutics, and phenomenology. Isaac is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (RAS) and a member of various academic organizations, among others, the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the European Academy of Religion (EuARe), and the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies.
Isaac's projects cover four areas: academic studies; philosophical-existential inquiry; contemplative studies/practices; exploration of integral life. His most recent works are the academic article, "Interfaith Dialogue and Mystical Consciousness" (Harvard Theological Review, 2022) and the book, Interfaith Dialogue and Mystical Consciousness in India: The Hindu Sages Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Aurobindo and the Christian Interfaith Tradition (Routledge, 2024). Isaac is author of the book, What Christ Said: Revisiting the Countercultural Sayings of Christ Jesus (Wipf and Stock, 2022); in it, he presents the possibility of a provocative Christian path based on truth and freedom. He has also authored various books on spiritual practices, a verses book, and a philosophical work, partly autobiographical, The Possibilities of Spiritual Experience: An Autobiographical and Philosophical Exploration (Mirlo, 2017), where he proposes a path for the modernization of spirituality—the adoption of an original methodology to understand mystical experience—arguing that "the science of Enlightenment [spirituality] never reached the Enlightenment Age."
Isaac has given talks in a variety of environments, from international conferences and universities to yoga studios. He has lived in three continents and travelled extensively, exploring a great variety of cultural environments and visiting places of spiritual relevance in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. Currently, he spends most of his time in Scotland. He speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.