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Indian Christian Thinking in Relation to Christ1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 February 2009


The rapidly deepening river of Indian christological thought is fed by a number of streams. The main current is of necessity the biblical witness, which has to be expounded afresh in every country and age. To this are added the various ecclesiastical channels by which theological thought has reached India; the Syrian in the South, and the many types of Western theology which have always been influential, and still continue to be so. From the other bank there comes the stream of Indian culture, in particular the philosophical systems of Sankara and Ramanuja, and the bhakti tradition of devotion to a personal God. To all these is added, like the rain, the continual influence of the Holy Spirit, who, in India as elsewhere, is ever drawing from what is Christ's and making it known to men (John 16.14). There has therefore been in India, as one might expect, a departure from some of the traditional christological formulations of the West.

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Copyright © Scottish Journal of Theology Ltd 1966

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page 446 note 3 For a general account see Cronin, Vincent: A Pearl to India: the Life of Roberto de Nobili (London, 1959)Google Scholar.

page 446 note 4 For information about the Hindu Reformers I am indebted to Dr F. Muliyil for the use of his unpublished thesis: An Examination in the Light of NT Doctrines of the Treatment of Christian Theology in Modern Reformed Hinduism as illustrated by the Brahtno Samaj.

page 447 note 1 Muliyil, op. cit., pp. I44ff. Quoted from The Brahma Samaj (Calcutta, 1886), pp. 287ff.

page 447 note 2 ibid., p. 293.

page 447 note 3 ibid., p. 301.

page 447 note 4 ibid., p. 295.

page 447 note 5 The Brahmo Samaj, pp. 392ff.

page 447 note 6 Muliyil, op. cit., p. 301, quoted from Brahmo Samaj, p. 393.

page 447 note 7 ibid., pp. 297ff.

page 447 note 8 For information about Swami Vivekananda, I am indebted to Dr J. R. Chandran for the use of his unpublished thesis A Comparison of the Pagan Apologetic of Celsus against Christianity as contained in Origin's Contra Celsum and the Neo-Hindu Attitude to Christianity as Represented in the Works of Vivekananda. For Vivekananda's teaching on Avataras see Chandran, op. cit., pp. 207ff.

page 448 note 1 Chandran, op. cit., p. 179.

page 448 note 2 ibid.

page 448 note 3 Gardner, C. E., Life of Father Goreh (London, 1900)Google Scholar.

page 448 note 4 MacNicol, N., India in the Dark Wood (London, 1930), pp. 115 and 131Google Scholar.

page 448 note 5 For information about Krishna Pillai I am indebted to Bishop A. J. Appasamy who has given me access to information to be published in his forthcoming book on the poet.

page 448 note 6 Quoted by Rajarigam, D., ‘Theological Content in the Tamil Christian Poetical Works’ in Indian Journal of Theology, vols. XI/4 and XII/1 and 2Google Scholar.

page 448 note 7 Pillai, Krishna, Rakshanya Tatrikum, p. xlivGoogle Scholar.

page 448 note 8 See Winslow, J. C., Narayan Vaman Tilak (Y.M.C.A., Calcutta, 1930)Google Scholar.

page 448 note 9 Boyd, R. H. S., ‘An Outline History of Gujarati Theological Literature’ in Indian Journal of Theology, vol. XII/3, pp. 87, 88Google Scholar.

page 449 note 1 Animananda, B., The Blade: Life and Work of Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya (Calcutta, n.d.)Google Scholar. There is also a German biography by Väth, A.: In Kampfe unit der Zauberwell des Hinduismus (Berlin, 1928)Google Scholar.

page 449 note 2 Quoted in Andrews, C. F., The Renaissance in India (London, 1912), Appendix XIIIGoogle Scholar.

page 450 note 1 For an account of his work see Sharpe, Eric J., J. N. Farquhar: A Memoir (Y.M.C.A., Calcutta, 1963)Google Scholar.

page 450 note 2 Thomas, A. D., The Life of Christ—24 Paintings (S.P.C.K., London, 1948)Google Scholar.

page 450 note 3 The fullest accounts of Sundar Singh's work are Appasamy, A.J., Sundar Singh: A Biography (London, 1958)Google Scholar, and Heiler, F., The Gospel of Sadhu Sundar Singh (London, 1927)Google Scholar.

page 450 note 4 Heiler, op. cit., p. 157.

page 450 note 5 ibid., p. 158.

page 450 note 6 ibid., p. 152.

page 450 note 7 For a critical discussion of these three theologians, see A Christian Theological Approach to Hinduism, by the Gurukul Theological Research Group (C.L.S., Madras, 1956)Google Scholar.

page 451 note 1 A. J. Appasamy, Christianity as Bhakti Marga, ch. II.

page 451 note 2 A. J. Appasamy, What is Moksa? ch. III.

page 451 note 3 ibid.

page 451 note 4 Bhakti Marga, ch. V.

page 451 note 5 Moksa, ch. V.

page 451 note 6 ibid., p. 112.

page 451 note 7 ibid., pp. 112, 113.

page 452 note 1 Chakkarai, V., Jesus the Avatar, p. 117Google Scholar.

page 452 note 2 ibid., p. 112.

page 452 note 3 ibid., p. 121.

page 452 note 4 ibid., p. 173.

page 452 note 5 ibid., p. 185.

page 452 note 6 ibid., p. 149.

page 452 note 7 ibid., p. 194.

page 452 note 8 ibid., pp. 125, 154, 219, 221.

page 452 note 9 Chakkarai, V., The Cross and Indian Thought, p. 219Google Scholar.

page 452 note 10 ibid., p. 25.

page 452 note 11 ibid., p. 156.

page 453 note 1 ibid., p. 284.

page 453 note 2 ibid.

page 453 note 3 The most easily accessible of Chenchiah's writings is his contribution to the volume Rethinking Christianity in India (2nd edn., Madras, 1939).

page 453 note 4 Chenchiah, , Rethinking Christianity in India, p. 50Google Scholar.

page 453 note 5 Quoted in NCC Review, 1943, pp. 342ff (a review of four important articles by Chenchiah in The Guardian, 1943).

page 453 note 6 ibid.

page 453 note 7 ibid.

page 453 note 8 ibid.

page 453 note 9 Rethinking, p. 165.

page 454 note 1 Quoted by D. A. Thangasamy in S. Indian Churchman, Sept. 1960. (The issues of June, Sept. and Oct. 1960 contain valuable articles by Mr Thangasamy, critical of the Gurukul estimate of Chenchiah.)

page 454 note 2 Rethinking, p. 61.

page 454 note 3 ibid., p. 62.

page 454 note 4 ibid., pp. 54, 62.

page 454 note 5 ibid., p. 62.

page 454 note 6 Paul, C. S., The Suffering God, p. 220Google Scholar.

page 454 note 7 ibid., pp. 198ff.

page 454 note 8 ibid.

page 454 note 9 ibid., pp. 247ff.

page 455 note 1 Singh, Surjit, Preface to Personality, p. 110Google Scholar.

page 455 note 2 ibid., p. 112.

page 455 note 3 ibid., p. 114.

page 455 note 4 ibid., p. 128.

page 455 note 5 ibid., p. 132.

page 456 note 1 ibid., p. 135.

page 456 note 2 A most valuable unpublished thesis. See also Clark, R. M., ‘A Study of Theological Categories in the Indian Church’ in Int. Review of Missions, 1943/1943Google Scholar.

page 456 note 3 D. Rajarigam, op. cit.

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