David C. Scott


The realization that what is commonly spoken of as Hinduism is in reality an elite Brahmanical religion is so ubiquitous that there is no need to argue the point here. Similarly, Christianity has generally been understood in terms of classical Western theological and philosophical thought. This being the case, it is hardly surprising that until relatively recently what has been understood as the encounter and interaction of Christianity and Hinduism has been, in fact, an encounter and interaction of what we might speak of as the elite great traditions in both religious systems. Yet the fact remains that in India approximately 75-80% of the Christian community do not come from the high caste or elite stratum of Indian society. Indeed, many of us have for some time now been astounded by the extent to which attempts to document and understand the encounter and interaction of Christianity with Hinduism in India, including the Hindu-Christian Studies Bulletin, have concentrated almost exclusively on the interaction of the classical theological and philosophical elements of the Christian tradition with similar elements of the Hindu tradition.

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