The Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies is published annually by the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies, a scholarly society dedicated to the study of Hinduism and Christianity and their interrelationships. Through its annual meetings and the journal, the society seeks to create a forum for the presentation of historical research and studies of contemporary practice, for the fostering of dialogue and interreligious conversation, carried forward in a spirit of openness, respect and true inquiry. The aim of the journal is to create a worldwide forum for the presentation of Hindu-Christian scholarly studies, book reviews, and news of relevant past and upcoming events. Materials selected for publication will be balanced between historical research and contemporary practice and, where possible, will employ analytical and theoretical analysis set within the context of our shared contemporary experience.

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The Globethics.net library contains articles of the Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies as of vol. 1 (1988) to current (embargo period 2 years).

Recent Submissions

  • Review of Nathaniel Roberts’ To Be Cared For:The Power of Conversion and the Foreignness of Belonging in an Indian Slum

    Kent, Eliza F. (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    This article focuses on Roberts’ argument that the religiosity of urban Tamil Dalits, or “slum religion,” transcends Hindu or Christian affiliation. Roberts’ ethnography challenges the dominant discourse surrounding Pentecostal Christianity which asserts that conversion is inevitably divisive, splitting families and communities and even individuals in harmful ways that justify its tight legal regulation. To the contrary, Roberts’ fieldwork reveals how the deeply pragmatic nature of Dalit religion allows for significant individual variation and dynamism without inordinate contentiousness. To Be Cared For also contributes to scholarship on women and religion in India, sensitively illustrating the tensions and strains within urban Dalit women’s lives that the collective ritual forms of Pentecostal Christianity help to assuage.
  • The Virtues of Comparative Theology

    Soars, Daniel J. (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    In this article, I focus on a small section in the epilogue of Francis X. Clooney’s The Future of Hindu-Christian Studies in which he outlines some of the personal characteristics needed to do comparative theology well. He takes five of these from Catherine Cornille’s The Im-Possibility of Interreligious Dialogue and adds several of his own. By exploring notions like doctrinal humility and rootedness in a particular tradition, we are forced to reflect upon the ‘virtues’ of the discipline in both senses of the word – not only those attributes required to engage in it, but the merits of doing it at all.
  • Editor’s Introduction

    Gupta, Gopal (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
  • On Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Insistence that“‘Christ’ came from ‘Krishna.’”

    Huggins, Ronald V. (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    ISKCON founder Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda was convinced that the name Christ was derived from Krishna. He frequently appealed to this as a way of dispelling Western Christian reservations about participating in kirtana. The present article explores (1) the place this etymological claim played in Prabhupāda’s thinking and missionary strategy, (2) how he came to defend it in the first place, and (3) how his defense fit into the ongoing East/West discussion of the alleged etymological interdependence of Christ and Krishna that has been going on since the 18th century. At the heart of Prabhupāda’s argument is the interchangeability of Ns and Ts in the ṭavarga such that Kristo and Kesto appear as common alternative forms of the name Krishna. Prabhupāda then goes on to argue that Christos was similarly derived from Krishna as well. The argument, however, is not tenable because the t in Christos is not actually part of the original Greek verbal stem chri-, but only enters in when the suffix -tos is added to form the adjective christos (anointed). Ultimately Krishna and Christos arose independently from two separate Proto-Indo-European roots, the former from k̑ers- (dark, dirty, grey) and the latter from ghrēi- (to rub).
  • Book Review: Privileged Minorities: Syrian Christianity, Gender, and Minority Rights in Postcolonial India

    Jones, Arun W. (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Book Review of Privileged Minorities: Syrian Christianity, Gender, and Minority Rights in Postcolonial India. By Sonja Thomas. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018, x + 210 pages
  • The Papal Encyclical Ad Extremas (1893):The Call for an Indigenous Indian Clergy, Its Effects Upon theCatholic Church in India, and Its Description of Indian Religions

    Unsworth, Andrew (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Ad Extremas, an encyclical epistle issued by Pope Leo XIII, gives a rare insight into the official opinion of the Catholic Church with regard to India’s indigenous religious traditions at the close of the nineteenth century. By means of a historical and textual analysis of the document, this essay offers a critical assessment of its contents facilitating a better appreciation of the ecclesial transition that occurred between the pontificate of Leo XIII and the promulgation of those texts of the Second Vatican Council that made reference to Hinduism.
  • Volume 32, Full Contents

    Staff, JHCS (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
  • Book Review: Hagiography and Religious Truth: Case Studies in the Abrahamic and Dharmic Traditions

    Sydnor, Jon Paul (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Book Review of Hagiography and Religious Truth: Case Studies in the Abrahamic and Dharmic Traditions. Edited by Rico G. Monge, Kerry P. C. San Chirico, and Rachel J. Smith. New York: Bloomsbury, 2016, xv + 265 pages
  • Book Review: Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893

    Brackett, Jeffrey M. (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Book Review of Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893. By Michael J. Altman. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017, vii + 175 pages
  • Book Review: Keshab: Bengal’s Forgotten Prophet

    Ulrich, Edward T. (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Book Review of Keshab: Bengal’s Forgotten Prophet. By John A. Stevens. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 309 pages
  • Christ-Centered Bhakti:A Literary and Ethnographic Study of Worship

    Pohran, Nadya (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Bhakti (loving devotion) centered on and directed to Jesus Christ—or what I here call "Christ-centred bhakti"—is an increasingly popular religious practice in India and elsewhere. The first half of this paper seeks to explore some of the roots of the contemporary spiritual practice of bhakti poetry which has been written and/or is being sung in India. An overview of bhakti in a broader sense provides the necessary foundation so as to then explore and contextualise the emerging practice of Christ-centered bhakti poetry—often called ‘Yeshu’ (Jesus) or ‘Khrist’ (Christ) bhajans (devotional hymns)—within the broader theological and experiential frameworks of Hindu bhakti. To structure this contextualization, I draw upon a helpful observation by Jessica Frazier: scholars generally approach bhakti as either a concept, a historical movement, or an experience. The first half of this paper interacts with each of these understandings of bhakti in order to provide the reader with some necessary context of bhakti in its broader and more commonly known expressions—most of which are in Hindu contexts. The second half of this paper focuses on Christ-centered bhakti, drawing from both ethnographic fieldwork and literary analysis, and explores how Christ-centered bhakti can be situated within bhakti’s broader historical and literary expressions. I highlight some of the expressions of Christ-centered bhakti through focusing specifically on one bhajan, ‘Man Mera,’ and reading it alongside bhajans by the 16th-century Rajasthani poet-saint Mirabai. The focus on Christ-centred bhakti documents and demonstrates some of the ways in which bhakti is being practiced with Christian idioms and in Christian contexts. And, significantly, it reveals the various ways that some Christians grapple with their faith in Jesus and embrace an existential uncertainty with regard to their sense of God.
  • Response to Sarbeshwar Sahoo and Eliza Kent

    Roberts, Nathaniel (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    In this response to Sarbeshwar Sahoo, and Eliza Kent, I attempt to address some of the questions, challenges and insights they have put forth in their comments on To Be Cared For. I focus, in particular, on the methodological question of how I define the object of that and what it leaves out, and how I justify my own epistemological stance in relation to those I study, whose views I sometimes challenge. I do so by highlighting a basic distinction between ethnographic studies which take religion itself as an object of investigation, and an anthropological study such as mine, in which religion is approached as an aspect of social reality. I then draw a distinction between two ways of understanding “culture,” and the links I see between them and the two contrasting views of religious conversion described in the book. I end by clarifying what I see as the ethical imperatives of this sort of research and its relation to the question of religious tolerance.
  • Book Review: Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern India

    Locklin, Reid B. (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Book Review of Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern India. By Elaine M. Fisher. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2017, xii + 285 pages
  • Book Review: Christianity in India: Conversion, Community Development, and Religious Freedom. Edited by Rebecca Samuel Shah and Joel Carpenter. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2018, xix + 311 pages.

    Bauman, Chad M. (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Book Review of Christianity in India: Conversion, Community Development, and Religious Freedom. Edited by Rebecca Samuel Shah and Joel Carpenter. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2018, xix + 311 pages
  • Book Review: Imaginations of Death and the Beyond in India and Europe

    Tull, Herman (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Book Review of Imaginations of Death and the Beyond in India and Europe. Edited by Günter Blamberger and Sudhir Kakar. Singapore: Springer Nature, 2018, ix + 202 pages
  • Book Review: Possessed by the Virgin: Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, and Marian Possession in South India

    Robison, Claire C. (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Book Review of Possessed by the Virgin: Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, and Marian Possession in South India. By Kristin Bloomer. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018, 352 pages
  • Book Review: In the Bosom of the Father: The Collected Poems of Benedictine Mystic

    Ulrich, Edward T. (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Book Review of In the Bosom of the Father: The Collected Poems of Benedictine Mystic. Translated by Jacob Riyeff. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2018, 226 pages
  • Caste, Conversion, and Care:Toward an Anthropology of Christianity in India

    Sahoo, Sarbeswar (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    This paper critically examines Nathaniel Roberts’ book, To be Cared For. It argues that by discussing the “unique moral problems and cultural contradictions” that surround the everyday life-world of low caste Dalit Pentecostals in a slum in Chennai, Roberts provides a rich ethnography of caste, Christianity and care in India. In particular, the book makes several contributions: first, it provides a nuanced, contextual understanding of the “pluralities” of Indian Christianities; second, contrary to Gandhian view of “religion as spirituality”, it shows (by questioning the hierarchy of the religious world) how materiality or worldly benefits occupy a central role in the life-world of believers; third, it discusses “pastoral innovation” and shows how Pentecostal pastors are constantly innovating new ways of interpreting and reinterpreting doctrines to address the everyday social problems and anxieties of believers, and also how pastoral innovation needs to be understood in the context of pastoral competition and rivalry; and finally, it discusses a notion of belonging that goes beyond territoriality and religious affiliation and shows how “relationality”, shared values, and real/imagined connections are essential to belonging. Discussing these four aspects, what the paper shows is, how through careful observation and in-depth ethnographic narratives of everyday religiosity and morality of the slum dwellers, Roberts makes an important contribution to the anthropology of Christianity in India.
  • Book Review: Learning Interreligiously: In the Text, In the World

    Voss Roberts, Michelle (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)
    Book Review of Learning Interreligiously: In the Text, In the World. By Francis X. Clooney, SJ. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2018, xiii + 370 pages
  • 2019 Annual Meeting Sessions

    Studies, Society of Hindu-Christian (Digital Commons @ Butler University, 2019-01-01)

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