Today the field of Hindu-Christian studies is burgeoning with both advanced scholars and freshly minted PhDs. However, during most of the twentieth century it was rare for a Christian thinker to take non-Christian religions seriously as a meaningful area of theological inquiry. Those who did generally limited themselves to theorizing about these religions in the abstract, rather than engaging with living members of these religions. Five outstanding exceptions were Jules Monchanin, Swami Abhishiktananda, Raimundo Panikkar, Francis Acharya, and Bede Griffiths, all of whom were Catholic priests who settled in India over a sixteen year time period, from 1939 to 1955. There are a multitude of studies of these men, but only a small proportion of these examine them comparatively. This is ironic, for their lives were intertwined.

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