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Christian Missionary Role In India - 6

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Christian Missionary Role In India - 6
#21
About why I follow Christ: I find Him fascinating, and I try to live life as he would. Some of what you said , ben ami, eg, about Christmas Day is quite true, and i can add to that list!!...there are many things in organised Christianity that are from other religions. In Kerala, where I come from, for instance, our Christian wedding symbol is a "Minnu", which is like a malayali Hindu thali, with a cross on it! But thats where you do not understand. Christmas day, Christmas trees, minnus...Thats all the superficial part, and hardly matters. In truth, Christinity is Christ. I follow Christ, because He seems to be, to me, the most important and significant person and his life the most important event in human history.

You're free to agree or disagree with me. But for Christians like me, thats the reason for the "huge missionary apparatus" one of you talked about. To let people know about Jesus Christ, and how following him made a difference in our lives, and can for everyone. What they do with that knowledge is their business. I will never support any kind of force to "convert" people. Thats despicable.
#22
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> But for Christians like me, thats the reason for the "huge missionary apparatus" one of you talked about. To let people know about Jesus Christ, and how following him made a difference in our lives, and can for everyone. What they do with that knowledge is their business. I will never support any kind of force to "convert" people. Thats despicable.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Stop the BS. The enormous apparatus of missionaries, both Catholic and of various Protestant/Evangelical denominations, just <b>to let people know about Christ</b>? We know about him just fine. It is to persuade, if not socially coerce, specific minorities among economically vulnerable communities to seek salvation in "Christ".

If it was just to let people "know about Christ", that objective has already been achieved in most places. People already know about him.

The missionary apparatus, for all its sound-and-light effects, is a corporate organization, just like Hindustan Lever. It sells a brand of religion - an exclusivist monotheism at that - with the important advantage that it has enormous sums of money and a well-motivated cadre for its mission. It has deadlines, it has an advertising budget, it has competition, and it has to meet numbers, to give its financial backers (the richer set among the laity) a sense of achievement, and a sense of vindication that they or their ancestors made the right choice.

Notice how carefully the Church seeks to define its product as different from that of rival faiths? Notice how carefully the Church seeks to devalue the concept of works alone as a way to salvation and the concept of reaching God directly as a means of salvation, and instead lays emphasis on "faith" in this "Son of God"? Read here for the faith vs works debate. These are the systemic characteristics of a corporate organization, and attempt by the "Church" to justify its existence to the laity and the rest of the world.

+++ I reject the concept that salvation is possible only through faith in one individual(man or "son of God" whatever that is supposed to mean).
+++ I reject the concept that faith, <i>not works</i>, is the only way to reach God.
+++ I reject the concept that those who do not believe in this one individual cannot achieve salvation, not matter how good they are personally. <b>This is what the Church teaches</b>, by the way, that to achieve salvation, it is necessary not just to believe in God, but to believe in this new "Son of God" nonsense.
#23
<!--QuoteBegin-ben_ami+Jul 21 2006, 11:38 AM-->QUOTE(ben_ami @ Jul 21 2006, 11:38 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-G.Subramaniam+Jul 21 2006, 05:06 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(G.Subramaniam @ Jul 21 2006, 05:06 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Even BBC websites show the forced conversion to xtianity of NLFT
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can we have links to that please.
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/south_asia/717775.stm

Nagmanlal Halam, secretary of the Noapara Baptist Church in Tripura, was arrested late on Monday with a large quantity of explosives

The chief minister said that Mr Halam confessed to buying and supplying explosives to the NLFT for the past two years.

Another church official, Jatna Koloi, was arrested in south Tripura last week.

Police say Mr Koloi had received training in guerrilla warfare at an NLFT base last year.

The NLFT is accused of forcing Tripura's indigenous tribes to become Christians and give up Hindu forms of worship in areas under their control.

Last year, they issued a ban on the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja.

The NLFT manifesto says that they want to expand what they describe as the kingdom of God and Christ in Tripura.

#24
Vishwas,

Whats BS?

Anyway, <sigh> I've heard this several times and I would like someone..anyone!...to tell me HOW forcing/ coercing the poorer, economically vulnerable sections to convert can possibly benefit Christians. What is our reason for this? There's some very devious, mischievous reason, right? javascript:emoticon('Tongue')Please tell me, too, what it is, because I haven't a clue. Like, what is this great gain that we are supposed to be getting; how will these poor people give us returns on our "huge" investment? Or are we supposed to be such idiots that we spend our time, energy and money merely for the satisfaction of forcing a few poor villagers to change their names? THAT is the goal of Christians?

if that was true, I don't blame you for thinking poorly of us!

#25
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Christians burnt witches, and Hindus burnt widows, and Muslims burnt down WTCs. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Hindu widows burned themselves (many cases were voluntary as recorded by European travellers), it maybe unpalatable to western minds but fact remains that these voluntary cases were no different than euthanasia so I don't see how that was criminal.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Christians ordered doctrine-based inquisitions, Hindus and Muslims order caste-based / honour- based killings.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Are you sure that Christians don't order caste-based killings in India?, go to TN and you will see separate Churches for Dalits and so many other supposed Hindu evils and atleast Hindus don't brag and honour people who do such things while xtians grant sainthood to criminals like Xavier (infact I would suspect majority of xtian saints are murderers and criminals).
#26
<!--QuoteBegin-annamma+Jul 21 2006, 05:44 PM-->QUOTE(annamma @ Jul 21 2006, 05:44 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->THAT is the goal of Christians?


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yes. and good morning.
#27
It's our duty to get fundamentalist Xtians off their high horse. For a long time Christians were throat cutters just like muslims.

You are absolutely right that blindly adding numbers will backfire on Christians, like the collapse of an overgrown corporation. But, fundamentalist Christians don't realize this, in their mind there is a giant clock in the sky ticking towards an armageddon. Indian Christians need to realize that the large amount of western money flowing into their coffers will slowly dwindle (especially as Europe moves away from Xtianity), and Hindu money will rise rapidly. In this scenario, Hindus will remember how Xtian's acted up in the past.

Fundamentalist Christians just like Muslims want to create a one-world government and one-world religion to control the world. Hinduism's existence alone is a threat to the unelected Xtian tyrants like the Pope and Pat Robertson. There is a racial dimension to this as well, historically Western Xtians have seen Xtianity as a way to culturally enslave non-whites (i.e. Latin America). If you have any doubt about the Evangelical Xtian agenda, just listen to Pat Robertson. In fact the Pope doesnt' even recognize Hinduism as a valid religion. France and Italy don't even recognize Hinduism. How can arrogant scum bags like this dare to lecture Hindus about Human rights ?


<!--QuoteBegin-annamma+Jul 21 2006, 05:44 PM-->QUOTE(annamma @ Jul 21 2006, 05:44 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Vishwas,

Whats BS?

Anyway, <sigh> I've heard this several times and I would like someone..anyone!...to tell me HOW forcing/ coercing  the poorer, economically vulnerable sections to convert can possibly benefit Christians. What is our reason for  this? There's some very devious, mischievous reason, right? javascript:emoticon('Tongue')Please tell me, too, what it is, because I haven't a clue. Like, what is this great gain that we are supposed to be getting; how will these poor people give us returns on our "huge" investment?  Or are we supposed to be such idiots that we spend our time, energy and money merely for the satisfaction of forcing a few poor villagers to change their names? THAT is the goal of Christians?

if that was true, I don't blame you for thinking poorly of us!
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#28
<!--QuoteBegin-annamma+Jul 19 2006, 04:01 AM-->QUOTE(annamma @ Jul 19 2006, 04:01 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-ben_ami+Jul 19 2006, 08:02 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(ben_ami @ Jul 19 2006, 08:02 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->can someone supply a list of all the christian missionary factions (ie. different churches) that operate in india??
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<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I came upon this site while surfing the net; and while I am rather surprised at the vehemence of some of the opinions expressed, I registered thinking that a frank exchange of views is always educational and helpful.

I am an Indian Christian, living in India. The church in India can basically be understood as having Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant/ Reformed groups. People move from one church to the other with some fluidity, so, for eg, i was part of an orthodox group, now am part of a "protestant" church, and have many Catholic inputs, too. Apart from the regular churches, there are many Christian organisations which are not churches, but are set up for specific aims, such as educational, social work, evangelism, and so on.

I don't think we are as horrible as you people seem to think!! Always open to comments, this is Annamma
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Annamma,

The main reason you seem to have joined this forum is that you were surprised at the "hateful" messages that have been posted in this forum against Chrisianity.

Pls answer the following questions truthfully. This could help you understand your own religion better and also why I and other forum member feel so strongly about your religion.

1) Do Hindus have a right to practice their own religion and their own culture or do you beleive they have to become christians? When you see a hindu or any other non-christian, do you think they are sinning and their souls have to be saved?

2) How do you view conversions by bribe or coersion/force? Did you get repulsed when nuns were offering food to Tsunami victims on the condition that they convert? Or did you think the nuns were just doing their christian duty to save souls?

Now if your answer to the first question is "yes hindus have a right to practice their own religion and culture without any interference from christian missionary" then I agree with you entirely and we have nothing more to discuss. The "hateful" messages were not intended for good christians like you.

If you answered "no, all people in the world should be converted", it still is not so bad. Afterall, you believe that your path is the best and you can try to convince others as per the rights that our constitution guarantees (which BTW is given only to individuals not to christian organizations that use their money power to further conversions). This is where the second question comes in. Do you think any means is ok to convert? If you were disgusted at your fellow christians when the nuns tried to blackmail hindus with food for converting, I again dont have any quarrels with you, other than that why did you not protest their actions/methods. But if you think it is ok, you join the majority of christians, including your catholic pope john paul II, who think nothing is wrong when it comes to bringing HIS kingdom on earth (that BTW is one of the stupidest things about christianity. Why does your god reward believers like yourself only after the others have also converted? Does your god not love you unconditionally). The pope has said he frowns upon the practice of offering bribes but ofcourse does not outright condemn the practice as he likes the results, ie the ends justify the means. How you do it is as important as what you want to achieve. Once you justify a crime based on results, there is no stopping further wrongdoings. You will have no compuction in committing murder, rape and pillage and justify it as means towards just cause. This is where christianity is very similar to Islam and communism. All crimes were/are committed by muslims and commies as conversion and revolution is the desired result.

Again, if you just believe in christ without trying to force your opinion on others, good for you. Eventhough your religion is absolutely ridiculous, I will not interfere with your belief. Afterall, aren't there people dumb enough to believe in UFOs and flying saucers. I certainly have as much interest in convincing these UFO believers as I would have in converting you.

JUST to satisfy my curiosity, what is the etymology of your name? Is it annam (food, rice) + amma or is it indianization of anna (like anna kounikova)?

Peace be upon you.
#29
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In truth, Christinity is Christ. I follow Christ, because He seems to be, to me, the most important and significant person and his life the most important event in human history.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

That is all fine. Having noble ideals is all very good.

But the historical truth is that there was no man called Jesus Christ.
His story is a myth.

We often get fascinated with myths and the ideals they represent.
There are 100,000 registered members of the Star Wars religion.
If you ask them they will say the Star wars movies are the greatest events in human history.

Star Wars is just a myth. But it is very impressive.
The same is true for the movie "Lord of the Rings". It also has a cultic following.

Why not separate the ideals from the myths?
You can enjoy the mythical stories, but you should not try to pass it for the truth.

After all you want know the truth behind the universe don't you?
Or do you want to live the rest of your life pursing a lie?

There was no man called Jesus. And he can do nothing to save you.
It is all in your dreams.

After you die you will be subject to the laws of Karma and re-incarnation whether you like it or not.

What you believe or don't believe makes no difference to the absolute truth.
#30
<!--QuoteBegin-LSrini+Jul 21 2006, 08:42 PM-->QUOTE(LSrini @ Jul 21 2006, 08:42 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->JUST to satisfy my curiosity, what is the etymology of your name? Is it annam (food, rice) + amma or is it indianization of anna (like anna kounikova)? 
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Second one is correct.
#31
Thats a lot of questions for me to answer! ;-)
I'll start with Srini, with first, my thanks for your open and pleasant response. Yes, Srini, I believe all of us have the right to our own beliefs and culture. I think all of us have sinned, though; Hindus , Muslims and Christians !!...see post 18... and my own belief, ridiculous though some of you think it, is that Christ died in my place for my sins, and so now I have a new relationship with God where he does not look at my sins, but looks at me as if my sin has been removed.

I would hate to NOT share what I see as a wonderful thing with others, so I do believe in talking about Jesus Christ, and the free gift of salvation he offers everyone; but I firmly believe that everyone has a right to respond to Christ as they like. Some of you are sceptical and a little scornful, and you have every right to your reaction. Some people may want to know more; I would ask what they wanted to know. Some people may be bored about religion, but want to discuss other things; thats fine, too; and I would be very happy to just be friends, though my beliefs would probably slip into my conversation now and again,as everyone's does, since it is part of my life-style, and I am always challenged to live like Christ (Fail most of the time, though!!). I don't mind being teased, and most of my friends accept my faith as part of me.

I would reject completely any attempt to bribe or force conversion as unethical and despicable, and yes, disgusting; and also basically ridiculous and impossible, as we are taking about how a person thinks, INSIDE, about Christ, and that, really cannot be forced with either money or food or life-threats.

Last question : In my community, we are given two names, one Indian name, and one name from the Bible. Annamma is my Bible name; it is, as ashyam correctly said, from the Hebrew "anna" which means gracious.
#32
Mitradena,
I would say there is historical proof for jesus' existence. Josephus and Tacitus, historians of that time, (both not Christians, or favourable to Christians) speak about him. Also, the sudden rise of the Christian community, the passion of the early disciples reaching the point were they were willing to die for their beliefs, cannot be easily explained if there was no historical person they claimed they saw and heard.

Agnivayu,
I hope you're not including me among the "fundamentalist Christians on their high horse"!! I agree with you on a lot of things. Pat Robertson is an insensitive, boorish man javascript:emoticon(':thumbdown'); yes, Christians have failed to live upto their master's teachings all too often..but "Christians trying to get world domination and government "and all that is your reaction. The bulk of Christians live, not in Europe and North America but in Asia and Africa, and South America, and we have enough on our hands just trying to live and work here, and do a little extra!! If <i>Americans </i>want to dominate the world, thats their peculiar national pre-occupation. Its not a Christian thing. Leave us out of it. ;-)


Ben ami,
Couldn't help chuckling at your response... but maybe, just maybe, its you who need to stop being so suspicious, and also under-rating us! We are neither as devious, nor as idiotic as you think us. ;-)

Bharatvarsh,
No, sadly, I cannot deny that some communities of Christians in india are also influenced, to some degree, by the caste system.
However, my point was simply that all people make mistakes and have failed morally and no community can claim to be only a victim; it is also the perpetrator of abuse/ violence. That includes Christians/ Muslims and Hindus, all.
#33
<!--QuoteBegin-annamma+Jul 22 2006, 05:21 PM-->QUOTE(annamma @ Jul 22 2006, 05:21 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Agnivayu,
I hope you're not including me among the "fundamentalist Christians on their high horse"!!  I agree with you on a lot of things. Pat Robertson is an insensitive, boorish man javascript:emoticon(':thumbdown'); yes, Christians have failed to live upto their master's teachings all too often..but "Christians trying to get world domination and government "and all that is your reaction. The bulk of Christians live, not in Europe and North America but in Asia and Africa, and South America,  and we have enough on our hands just trying to live and work here, and do a little extra!! If <i>Americans </i>want to dominate the world, thats their peculiar national pre-occupation. Its not a Christian thing. Leave us out of it. ;-)

<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Pat Robertson is but one of many, the head of the Indian Catholic union (John Dayal or whatever) is also a fundamentalist jackass, so is the Pope, and he represents a lot of Xtian's. It's funny how all these non-whites bow to the white pope as their gateway to their god. Just a few months ago, this Hitler youth pope was saying he was concerned about human rights in India. Since when does a hateful ex-nazi bigot who doesn't even consider Hinduism as a relgion start lecturing Hindus about human rights.

Xtian's view the region from North Africa across Asia as the "belt of resistance", and just like Islam want everybody to submit to their jealous god.


THere is no point in talking about how good you think Hindus are, because many of us are very well aware about the kind of talk that goes on in Xtian circles. Xtian radicals are responsible for most of the hate propaganda that's directed against Hindus (starting with Dalitsthan.org). The worst castist societies in the world are in the Xtian world (Brazil, Latin America in general). Mexico with 7% White population always has a White President. We know where the real caste system is.


Xtians have a long way to go to earn our respect, they can start by first acknowlegding us as a religion! Maybe the pope can eat some humble pie, and try talking to HIndus decently like he does with Jews and Muslims. He also needs to acknowledge Xtian crimes commited against Hindus in Goa etc.
#34
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I would say there is historical proof for jesus' existence. Josephus and Tacitus, historians of that time, (both not Christians, or favourable to Christians) speak about him.
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Wrong.

Go to http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/josephu...ml#tacitus
to get the exact quote from Tacitus. I going to quote from the website:

"Christianity has no part in Tacitus's history of the Caesars. Except for one questionable reference in the Annals he records nothing of a cult marginal even in his own day."



As for Josephus, his works were doctored by the Christian fanatics.
Quotes from http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/josephus-etal.html

"Not a single writer before the 4th century – not Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, Arnobius, etc. – in all their defences against pagan hostility, makes a single reference to Josephus’ wondrous words."

"In fact, the Josephus paragraph about Jesus does not appear until the beginning of the fourth century, at the time of Constantine."

"Whole libraries of antiquity were torched by the Christians. Yet unlike the works of his Jewish contemporaries, the histories of Josephus survived. They survived because the Christian censors had a use for them.

They planted evidence on Josephus, turning the leading Jewish historian of his day into a witness for Jesus Christ ! Finding no references to Jesus anywhere in Josephus's genuine work, they interpolated a brief but all-embracing reference based purely on Christian belief."

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Also, the sudden rise of the Christian community, the passion of the early disciples reaching the point were they were willing to die for their beliefs, cannot be easily explained if there was no historical person they claimed they saw and heard.
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All nonsense.
The Roman records don't even mention a town called Nazareth until the second century:
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/nazareth.html

How come Orthodox Jews don't give a damn about these Christian "saviours"?

The Bible is a Jewish book. It is the history/mythology of their race.
The Jews don't accept the new testament as valid.

Since the Bible is their book, I would agree with their opinion instead of yours.
#35
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> I think all of us have sinned<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
In Hindusim there is no concept of sin. It is only for christians. Spare us.
#36
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The Indian Church in Context: Her Emergence, Growth, and Mission</b>
Book Review
Church History
3/1/2005
Dempsey, Corinne


<b>The Indian Church in Context</b>: Her Emergence, Growth, and Mission. Edited by Mark T. B. Laing. Delhi: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2002.

<b>Christians of India</b>. By Rowena Robinson. New Delhi: Sage, 2003. 234 pp.

<b>Converting Women: Gender and Protestant Christianity in Colonial South India</b>. By Eliza F. Kent. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. xii + 322 pp.

As a collection, these three books offer a sweeping view of the state of Indian Christianity, past and present, regarding it from a variety of confessional, theological, and social scientific perspectives. In spite of the range of approaches, certain motifs nonetheless resound. Although the aims of the editors and authors are expressly divergent, their products suggest concerns and debates endemic to the larger investigation, to which I will return at the end of this essay.

Demonstrating consistency in the midst of diversity is The Indian Church in Context: Her Emergence, Growth, and Mission, a fairly even collection of eleven articles written by theologians and church and mission leaders, both Indian and European. The volume emerges from the eighth annual Mission Studies Consultation held in 2002 at the Union Bible Seminary in Pune, and, although the contributors reflect the largely mainline Protestant makeup of the institution, they do not constitute a harmonious choir. The volume provides an informative exchange of critique and counter critique rather than a singular view. Organized into four areas of investigation, scriptural studies, history, theology, and today's context, the volume features throughout the <b>intermeshed issues of evangelism, inculturation, conversion, and politics</b>.

The first section, focusing on mission in the light of Scripture, begins with Chris Wright's argument that <b>just as Judaism paved the way for Christ's message, so do Hindu traditions in India</b>. Writing about ancient Israel from a position of identification, Manohar David posits that Jewish exile and assimilation with Mesopotamian culture offers a model for <b>Indian Christians who, organically embedded in a Hindu context, must forge a unique identity to survive. Brian Whintle's article is an extensive indictment against idolatry</b>, yet he concludes with Paul's admonition in Colossians that greedy and covetous people are no less idolatrous.

The second section explores the history of Indian Christian mission from a variety of angles, beginning with Jacob Kavunak's review of the lessons gleaned from Catholic missionaries' past entanglements with secular politics. Mark Laing compares the contributions and liabilities of Protestant "top-down and bottom-up" mission models, <b>geared toward evangelizing elite individuals and low-caste masses, respectively</b>. Roger Hellund discusses twentieth-century worldwide missionary conferences, tracing a shift in approach from imperialistic optimism to guarded realism, yet he critiques the latter for its ignorance of non-Christian traditions.

Section three's discussion of theology focuses primarily on <b>progressive missiology</b>. Sebastian Kim evaluates late-twentieth-century theologies of mission: the mainline <b>Protestant secular model and liberal Catholic inculturation and liberation models</b>. By attending to their strengths and shortcomings, Kim argues for the development of a new missiology founded on the old. Plamthodathil Jacob offers a series of <b>Hindu theological, soteriological, ethical, and cosmological concepts that, he asserts, form an important bridge from which to develop a meaningful Indian Christian theology. </b>

The volume's final section investigates contemporary realities within Indian Christianity. John Azumah discusses Qur'anic views of non-Muslims, and Jangkholam Haokip describes the formidable challenges faced by <b>tribal Christians in northeast India in the form of governmental, societal, and church oppression.</b> Hansraj Jain presents eight case studies of new converts who, cut off from vital familial, occupational, and economic ties, find church communities lacking as sources of much needed support.

Written from an anthropological perspective, Rowena Robinson's Christians of India is an introductory overview of existing literature on Indian Christianity. Robinson offers an important contribution to the field through her attempt to present various aspects of the tradition from the point of view of the practitioner; the book's thematic design helps elucidate Indian Christianities practiced in different regions under diverse conditions and historical contexts. The volume is ambitious not only due to the vast scope of Indian Christianity but also due to the endless gaps in the field of study. These gaps are, as Robinson repeatedly bemoans, begging for further exploration.

Robinson begins by comparing the motives and strategies of Syrian Christians in Kerala, the Portuguese in Goa and Tamil Nadu, and the British in northern India, demonstrating how mission/conversion is far from monolithic. Peppered with fascinating analyses of converts' responses to the missionary process, this chapter shows how conversion, <b>even under unthinkably coercive circumstances</b>, is never a one-way arrangement. Continuing this theme, chapter 3 discusses how Indian Christianity, particularly in the past, offered a means for forging societal stratification. <b>This was partly made possible by early missionaries' own lack of egalitarianism, yet, during instances when missionaries tried to introduce egalitarian practices, converts often resisted</b> <i>{I am sure it is Hindoo practice}</i>  <!--emo&Tongue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tongue.gif' /><!--endemo--> . Noting how converts in some cases negotiated and manipulated status through practices of endogamy, dining, and occupation, Robinson proposes that <b>"missionaries and priests were but pawns in elaborate games played by various castes against each other"</b> (76). <i>{The obsession with caste continues}</i>

Drawing from fieldwork from west and south Indian Catholic communities as well as from tribal communities in the northwest, chapter 4 explores how popular practices borrow and distinguish themselves from Hindu traditions. Robinson offers an array of data describing festival rituals, processions, saint-deity relations, and agricultural and life cycle rituals. Particularly rich are passages where Robinson draws from her own Goan fieldwork. <b>Robinson mostly allows examples of Hindu-Christian syncretism to speak for themselves</b>; readers less familiar with Indian traditions might wish for a firmer hand to tease out the different religious strands.

Focusing primarily on tribal communities in north India as well as on Robinson's Goan materials, chapter 5 discusses Hindu/Christian clashes over issues of kinship and notions of morality. The product of these particular clashes, Robinson argues, is not syncretism <b>but rather the transformation of local traditions in conformity to missionary expectations. </b>

Robinson's final chapter chronicles movements within Indian Christianity that implicitly and explicitly critique the institution. She offers intriguing descriptions of popular practices such as <b>shamanism, possession cults, and healing rituals that tend to invert traditional ecclesial authority structures and gender and caste hierarchies</b>. She likewise highlights charismatic and pentecostal traditions as avenues for autonomy and increased equality. <b>The chapter concludes with a sound overview of Christian dalit and Indian feminist theologies. </b>

<b>Converting Women is a study of processes of conversion within Protestant Christianity in south India during colonial times.</b> Kent skillfully extrapolates the experiences, interpretations, and assimilations of women--British and American missionaries and Indian converts--<b>to demonstrate how conversion implicates an array of material and spiritual contingencies.</b> Converting Women describes how female missionaries and converts alike have been subject to as well as agents of the <b>process, subverting and succumbing to a web of imperial, social, and gendered power structures.</b> Kent's success in mapping this array of relationships is due, in part, to her careful presentation of a profusion of issues including the history and theology of Protestant communities in India, the sexual politics of imperialism, south Indian caste and purdah practices, and cross-cultural understandings of domesticity, marriage, and dress.

The book is divided into two halves, the first describing missionary and imperial perspectives of and relationships with Indian people. Chapter 1 features the history of Protestant Christianity in south India and traces <b>how Britain's initial business venture rationalized its permanent imperial presence in India through its self-appointed responsibility to civilize the subcontinent. </b>This move to engage with India's religious and cultural sphere opened the door, beginning in 1813, for government sanctioned missionary efforts. Chapter 2 demonstrates how misunderstandings of south Indian customs and structures by British missionaries and administrators contributed to the further cementing of caste hierarchies, yet, in keeping with the book's thesis, <b>Kent also illustrates how a low-caste community was partially successful in managing imperial bookkeeping as a means to improve its status</b>. Chapter 3's discussion of women's missionary societies vividly describes Englishwoman Amy Carmichael and American Eva Swift, who turned theological and social expectations to their advantage and, in some instances, undermined traditional authority.

Converting Women's second half explores the variegated significance of three cultural phenomena: domesticity, marriage, and dress, and unravels the ways female converts attempted to form these practices and their meanings to their advantage. Chapter 4 looks at the practice of purdah as well as Western reactions to it. It shows how low-caste convert women evoked notions of respectability through sequestered lifestyles, earning for themselves and their communities a sense of self-respect rooted, at the same time, in acts of subordination. Chapter 5 examines Indian Christian marriage and explores the subtle cultural divide between Western companionate marriage within a nuclear family and Indian models based on high-caste purdah practices. Chapter 6 describes how styles of clothing, jewelry, and hair articulate, in different ways, status and respectability for Western missionaries and Indian converts. Kent describes how low-caste converts used Christian notions of female modesty to assume status, achieved most dramatically through the donning of a cloth to cover their breasts. Kent convincingly argues that the wearing of the "upper cloth" erupted in controversy not entirely because it conferred elevated status on the wearer <b>but because it marked a denial of women's sexual availability to upper-caste men. </b>  <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Winding its way through all three books is, most strikingly, the idea that mission and conversion are invariably non-unilateral processes. Personal contingencies and cultural dynamics inevitably complicate the flow. This multidirectionality manifests most directly through converts' selective assimilation of Christian and Hindu practices described throughout Kent's book and in Robinson's second and third chapters. A similar, perhaps less consciously enacted process emerges in popular inculturation described by Robinson's chapters 4 and 6. Also suggesting cross-fertilization are arguments that Hindu movements such as siddhi tantrism, Kabir, and the <b>general bhakti movement (proposed by Kent, Robinson, and Laing, respectively) paved the way for an appreciation and occasionally acceptance of Christianity</b>. Viewed from another angle, Kavunkal and Kent suggest that Christian ideologies helped prepare the ground for Hindu reform movements as well.

Emerging from the idea that religions do not and cannot exist in a cultural vacuum is the controversy, live in India for centuries, regarding whether true conversion is an individual, spiritual event or one that implicates other life contingencies. While Robinson and Kent's books most obviously and repeatedly demonstrate the view that conversion is never entirely devoid of material or cultural realities and concerns, so do many theologians and church workers in the Laing volume (Laing, Kim, Haokip, and Jain),who argue for a more holistic approach to mission. Many of these authors posit that <b>while churches responsible for mass conversions automatically establish support systems and perhaps address the human rights </b>needs of the community, individual converts often find themselves seriously adrift. Dramatically depicting spiritually powerful yet personally devastating conversion experiences are Jain's case studies (see also Kent 183, 188) in which converts, unmoored from critical family, economic, and occupational support, describe their appeals to church communities for help, finding prayer the only assistance available. Jain berates missionaries to "stop their evangelism if they are unwilling to meet the consequences of their proclamations" (261).

Demonstrating that this conundrum is not a new one, British missionary Amy Carmichael states with characteristic frankness, "One can't save and then pitchfork souls into heaven .... <b>Souls (in India at least) are more or less securely fastened into bodies</b> <!--emo&:omg--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/omg.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='omg.gif' /><!--endemo--> <i>. </i>Bodies can't be left to lie about in the open, and as you can't get the souls out and deal with them separately, you have to take them both together" (quoted in Kent 123).

Speaking of bodies attached to souls and outspoken women, a final theme that emerges, in some cases indirectly, is worth mentioning. At the conclusion of Kent's exploration of how religion and culture get imprinted upon women's bodies and behaviors, she observes how women's voices--and spirits--have nonetheless been muted by history. During the upper cloth controversy, for instance, women were beaten and abused for defying convention. Al though their determination evokes, if anything, warrior-like courage, written accounts almost consistently laud these women for their sequestered modesty. Indeed one might argue that <b>Indian Christian women's voices continue to be muted, reflected in the makeup of The Indian Church in Context, in which all of the main articles were written by men (the one exception is the excellent response to Kim's article written by Cristina Manohar). As Robinson, a Goan Christian, concurs during her final chapter (203), there is much room for improvement where Indian Christian women are concerned. </b>
Corinne Dempsey

University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

COPYRIGHT 2005 American Society of Church History
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#37
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jul 22 2006, 07:31 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jul 22 2006, 07:31 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> I think all of us have sinned<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
In Hindusim there is no concept of sin. It is only for christians. Spare us.
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And I thought, non hindus reject and are averse to any notion that is attached to "birth", then why do they fall for "birth based" 400% inheritance of "Sin" - hook, line and sinker? Sounds more like a "bonded labor" contract clause to me....
#38
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jul 22 2006, 10:01 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jul 22 2006, 10:01 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> I think all of us have sinned<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
In Hindusim there is no concept of sin. It is only for christians. Spare us.
[right][snapback]54324[/snapback][/right]
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The idea is that in hinduism there is no sin per say. If you do a bad deed, you accumulate bad karma. Then how is karma different from christian concept of sin? Bad karma can be cancelled only thru good karma, thru charity or service to other people or devotion. This can happen over several births. When you accumulate enough good karma, you get mukti and are out of the birth-death cycle.

In christianity, you commit sins and irrespective of how serious the sins are, your sins are "deleted" as soon as you accept christ as your lord/ or confess to your sins and seek forgiveness. And you are free to commit your next set of sins and you can trust your "lord" to be forgiving. Like that albino monk in Da Vinci code, who kills, prays and is good as new to kill again! <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
#39
Wrongful act is papa, pata, adharma, anrita.

Law of Karma means as you sow, so you shall reap. God as just a dispenser of justice gives the fruit of the good and bad actions performed by a man. Birth & re-birth is certainly linked to the law of Karma. As one birth is not enough to have knowledge of all kinds and acquire perfection, one has to have several births before the soul attains emancipation. The soul is immortal, so after leaving one body, it inhibits another body according to his action.

sin: A doctrine of Semitic faiths whereby each soul is born in sin as a result of Adam's disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Sometimes mistakenly compared to the Saiva Siddhanta concept of the three malas, especially anava.

Lot of christians had translated Dhrama scriptures or wrote commentary about Dharma had used sin word, which now had become fashion because they failed to understand our dharma.

more I will add later.
#40
We Hindus are also "sinners" because we continuously commit the <i>original sin </i>committed by Adam and Eve !!


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