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India: The Making of a Hindu Nation

The word “Hindu” is a Persianate derivative of “Sindhu”, Sanskrit for the Indus River. Only during India’s colonial encounter in the 19th century did “Hindu” become an ascriptive label for a wide range of practices and ideas across South Asia that do not fall within the three world religions labelled “Islam”, “Christianity”, and “Buddhism”. But…

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African Influences on Chinese Catholicism

Christians of all kinds are returning to the Middle Kingdom. But the Christian significance of the Afro-Chinese encounter is even more important, broader than the simple number of the newly baptized. Therefore, this article highlights a dimension that is rarely mentioned: it focuses on Africans who, as workers, students, diplomats or small businessmen, live in…

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Inculturation: The Indian Face of Jesus II

Traditional Christian art seems something of the past that does not offer any new insights. More recently inculturated art forms from Asia and Africa have been appreciated because they are thought to bring a fresh perspective on Biblical themes.    As an artist, I have not represented Jesus in the conventional way that is typical of…

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The Parable of the Workers in the Vinyard Revisited

So, in the parable of the labourers in the vineyard Jesus simply is choosing a startling secular parallel to illustrate dramatically to his hearers a challenging religious truth: that no one ever deserves God’s love. God’s invitation is offered to all without strings and his acceptance of those who respond, whenever they decide to do…

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Inculturation: The Indian Face of Jesus I

The Gospels do not describe the physical appearance of Jesus. However, each culture has presented Jesus in their own cultural forms. Since ancient times, Christianity wore different clothes, spoke varied languages, and followed diverse customs. Indians of different cultural backgrounds responded to the Gospel narratives after learning them in their local languages, beginning with Tamil,…

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India: A Paragon of Interreligious Dialogue

Though his heart was very much with Hinduism’s ancient wisdom, he did not neglect other realities that had become part of the Indian Church. He clearly articulated it in 1996: “The earlier concern of Indian theology was focused on Vedanta, perceived as the most representative thing of India. Now the most representative reality in India…

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India’s Tribal Communities Rally for Recognition

Indigenous people today are arguably among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in the world. The international community now recognizes that special measures are required to protect their rights and maintain their distinct cultures and way of life. Although tribal communities are found everywhere in India, they have a significant presence in Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal,…