Tinu Ruparell


Teaching courses in religious studies, I am often asked whether I myself profess allegiance to some faith tradition - that is whether I am myself a "believer" of some kind. I must confess that I get some mischievous pleasure in responding that I am a "Hindu-Christian". The answer usually gets one of two kinds of responses: either my questioner is somewhat intrigues, in which case we might have an interesting discussion; or they smile with polite indifference and promptly change the topic. Both of these kinds of responses, however, can betray that my answer has called something into question: the nature of religious self-definition. Being a Hindu-Christian is inherently unsettling in this sense. It casts suspicion on the processes by which we label ourselves Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Daoist, or whatever.

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