My essay focuses on an undeservedly obscure individual, Somanath Vyas, whose name hardly registers among South Asia scholars. Recently, however, Somanath's writings have elicited interest among Sanskritists in Central India where he lived. Of these, I focus on the Kalandikaprakasa, composed between 1847 and 1850. A major treatise in wissenschaftliches and Sanskrit, it discusses knowledge, scientific and religious, that the author, a traditionally-educated Hindu pandit, deemed worthy of knowing. Importantly, this knowledge included a knowledge of Christianity. For an era rife with interreligious polemics, to advocate on behalf of Christianity as a religion worth knowing in relation to its own self-understanding seems to me remarkable in light of the fact that Somanath at one time had endeavored to counteract Christianity.
Young, Richard Fox
"Can Christians Be Bhaktas? A Sanskritic View from Central India, c. 1850,"
Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies:
Vol. 21, Article 13.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.7825/2164-6279.1412