The major thrust of this chapter is to discuss the theological themes and challenges raised by the encounter between Christianity and other religious traditions of Asia, and how Asian Christians have responded to those challenges. Asia is a vast geographical area covering many diverse nations and peoples. It is also an area that houses a variety of religious traditions and languages. These religions include Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, Sikhism, several forms of Buddhism, Confucian traditions and Islam. A nation like India has its own rich diversity in terms of cultures, languages and religions. Thus this chapter's project is a formidable task in relation to the geographical vastness of Asia and the diversity of religious traditions within Asia. Therefore I have – purely out of my limited knowledge and for the sake of a sharper focus – decided to rely mostly on illustrative materials from India. One can easily draw similar examples from other parts of Asia.
Two introductory surveys are helpful to our task here. First our discussion is best introduced by offering a demographic and statistical portrait of religious pluralism in Asia. Though each of the nations within Asia may have a different dominant religion, all nations within Asia are multi-religious in their makeup. For example, in nations such as Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan more than eighty per cent of the people belong to Islam. Yet, in each of these nations there are a significant number of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and people who practice tribal religious traditions.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.