Christians, Cultural Interactions, and India's Religious Traditions

By Hedlund, Roger E. | International Bulletin of Missionary Research, January 2003 | Go to article overview

Christians, Cultural Interactions, and India's Religious Traditions


Hedlund, Roger E., International Bulletin of Missionary Research


Christians, Cultural Interactions, and India's Religious Traditions.

Edited by Judith M. Brown and Robert Eric Frykenberg. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002. Pp. ix, 241. Paperback $35; hardback L40.

The essays in this collection document aspects of the interactions of Christianity in India's modern history and indicate a considerable give-and-take between Christian faith and local cultures. The lead article, by Indira Viswanathan Peterson, is an exposition of Vedanayaka Sastri of Tanjore that refutes the charge that Christianity is an alien transplant. Richard Fox Young portrays Hinduism's discovery of Christianity and subsequent interactions. Avril A. Powell examines three protagonists, the evangelical William Muir versus two articulate modernist Islamic spokesmen, Saiyid Ahmad and Amir 'Ali, among which the Muslims emerge the victors.

John C. B. Webster explicates the role of indigenous workers as cultural mediators in the emergence of the Punjabi church. Peter B. Andersen reinterprets religious life among the Santals as an ongoing response to social and religious challenges. Bengt G. Karlsson shows that change of behavior (morality and lifestyle), as well as new beliefs, are part of the process of entering the new Christian dharma (way of life). Rather than destroying culture, Christian conversion brought direction, meaning, and cultural affirmation.

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