Ken, in response to your question about Kearns' use of "dualism" to refer to Chrisitianity, I cite the following passage in Kearns' T.S. Eliot and Indic Traditions which refers to a statement made on the subject by Paul Elmer More, author of The Philosophy of the Upanishads, whose view Eliot said was close to his own. More argues that establishing a link between Kantian principles and Indian thought would be mistaken
"both in its grasp of the Eastern position and in its understanding of the basis of religious thought in general...More argued (that one should) look to that 'vivid consciousness of a dualism felt in the daily habit of humanity.' Religion was the 'acceptance of this cleavage in our nature as a fact.' The conclusions Eliot reached in Knowledge and Experience, though expressed in subtler and more technically philosophical language, supported More's position."
"In many ways, Eliot's poems are often more engaged with a sense of that dualism or "cleavage in our nature" than they are with a 'transcendental unreality' in either its Shankarian (Vedantist) or Kantian forms." (Kearns, pp 48-9)
Elsewhere Kearns writes " Gerontian, a version of Christianity suggests an intrusion of bodily functions, of fallen human nature, of the inevitable reductions of mystic fullness to language and speech, seductions that create revulsion in another way."
Kearns' explains that the Hindu spiritual vision is unitive - Brahman is identical to Atman - You Are That - the individual is an attribute of God's oneness if you will, and the Christian vision is dualistic - man has fallen from God and the spirit into the world of flesh. As Eliot writes"
"In depraved May, a dogwood and chestnut, flowering judas,
To be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk
Among whispers..."
Western metaphysics is generally dualistic, even before Descartes, wouldn't you say? Plato set up the dualism of real and ideal. Whereas India's oldest texts, the Upanishads, describe a non-dualistic vision. Diana