Isaac Portilla's Biography
ISAAC PORTILLA, PhD, FRAS, is a scholar, author, and teacher of exploratory mysticism. He holds a PhD in Divinity from the University of St Andrews (Scotland). His research, initially developed at the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (CSRP, St Andrews), focuses on interfaith dialogue, mystical consciousness, hermeneutics, and phenomenology. He 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; development of spiritual teachings; contemplative practices; explorations of integral life. His most recent works are "Interfaith Dialogue and Mystical Consciousness" (Harvard Theological Review, 2022) and a doctoral thesis, "Interfaith Dialogue and Mystical Consciousness: An Inquiry into the Hindu Sages Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Aurobindo and the Christian Interfaith Tradition in India" (University of St Andrews, 2022). Isaac is author of the book, What Christ Said: Revisiting the Countercultural Sayings of Christ Jesus (Wipf and Stock, 2022); in it, he presents a provocative Christian path based on truth and freedom. He has also authored various books on spiritual practices, a verses book, and a major work, The Possibilities of Spiritual Experience: An Autobiographical and Philosophical Exploration (Mirlo, 2017), where he proposes a path for the modernization of spirituality (i.e., the adoption of a unique methodology to understand mystical experience) arguing that "the science of Enlightenment [spirituality] never reached the Enlightenment Age."
Isaac has given talks on spiritual topics and interfaith/interreligious dialogue 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 spiritual places in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. Currently, he spends most of his time in Scotland. He speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.