Deepak Sarma


Misperceptions and misrepresentations are frequently linked to complicated dynamics between those who are misperceived and those who do the misperceiving. Oftentimes such dynamics are manifestations of underlying social, political, or, in the cases described in this issue of the Hindu-Christian Studies Bulletin, religious differences. The Hindu and the Christian traditions share a long history of mutual misrepresentations and misperceptions. Many of the authors in this issue of the Bulletin may offer detailed analyses of such misperceptions as they have been described by virtuoso Hindu thinkers such as Ram Mohan Roy, Gandhi-ji, and, in more recent times, BJP activists. In contrast, I will explore a case where mutual misperceptions have established a peculiar dynamic by focusing on the misperceptions that the Madhva school of Vedanta has been influenced by Christian beliefs. There is a theory that the Christian influence in Madhva Vedanta has resulted in a lively and provocative dialogue, one that is not only based on mutual misrepresentations by Christians and Hindus of one another but that actually serves to reinforce such misrepresentations.

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