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Western Indologists
Got this in an e-mail. forwarded to me by one of the sanskrit teachers

google search on this Professor Francis X. Clooney gives good info. I think this guy is part of larger agenda. Anybody here heard of him...
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Harvard University
                  Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies
                                Outreach Lecture

                                  Winter 2006
               "Vedanta Desika - Loving God in Medieval South India"

                         Professor Francis X. Clooney, S.J.
                              Harvard Divinity School

                       Saturday, February 11, 2006, 3:00 PM
                    Hall A, Harvard University Science Center
                            1 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Abstract: Srivashnavism is one of the principal traditions in Indian
religious life. Vedanta Desika (1268-1369) was a prominent Srivaisnava
scholar in the tradition of the Alvar poet saints of South India and
the Vedanta tradition of Ramanuja. An important late work in his long
and prolific career is the Srimad Rahasyatrayasaram, wherein he
expounds the meaning of the three sacred mantras of the tradition, the nature
of taking refuge with Lord Narayana and Sri Laksmi, the way of life of
true devotees, and the correct manner of teaching and learning as a
Srivaisnava. The lecture will introduce the text and highlight its fundamental insight
into love of God - in the Srivaisnava tradition, and more broadly for
Hindus and in an interreligious context.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Anybody here heard of him...
from first post on this thread:

<b>Francis Xavier Clooney </b>(who will now move to the
Harvard Divinity School from Boston College, heading a special chair) supposedly issued a press note which was reported in The Hindu of August 2 repeating a startling claim, with a potential to disturb the peace in the nation, <b>that five Vaishnava mandirams were originally churches</b>.

Divine Mother, Blessed Mother , Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary
<!--QuoteBegin-k.ram+Aug 8 2005, 11:51 PM-->QUOTE(k.ram @ Aug 8 2005, 11:51 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->The five  temples being demanded by Jesuits for Church are in <b>Srirangam, Kulithalai, Chidambaram, Aaduthurai, and Aavoor</b>.

well for a start we could answer back by demanding that the churches of goa (as also perhaps daman and diu) be reconverted to temples.
These Jesuit b*st*rds can first eat some humble pie, and so some common decency and respect before acting like they own the whole damn world.
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`Mahamastakabhisheka losing spirituality'

Staff Correspondent

SHRAVANABELAGOLA: Robert Szydenbos, who teaches Indology in the Munich University of Germany, has observed that the Mahamastakabhisheka has gradually lost its spiritual content over the years. Prof. Szydenbos , who for the first time participated in the celebrations in 1981, regretted that pilgrims are more involved in rituals rather than understanding the spiritual values attached to the event.

Interestingly, Prof. Szydenbos can converse fluently in Kannada, as his research was on "Distinctive cultural subjects in the post-independent prose in Kannada". He secured his doctorate degree in 1989 from the University of Mysore. He is carrying out research on Jainism in Southern India, and Manya Verlag Publication of Munichen will publish his work, "Jainism today and its future".

In a chat with presspersons here on Thursday, he said though the number of pilgrims attending the Mahamastakabhisheka is on the rise, they pilgrims have failed to understand why the ceremony is conducted and what it represents and the message it conveys to humanity.

He came here to study the rituals of the Mahamastakabhisheka in-depth but the congregation has created him problems. As most of the people visiting here do not have any interest in understanding its spirituality, the event is losing its religious seriousness, he regretted.

"You cannot find reverence in the act of many of them, as they have limited themselves to pomp and show," he said.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Fwd. k

PS: For those not familiar with the name, let me introduce. Francis
Xavier Clooney, S.J. (Society of Jesuits) is a preacher-cum-
professor (who was teaching in Boston College and has since July
2005 moved to Divinity School, Harvard College). He claims to be
dealing with 'Comparative Theology' an undefined discipline. He was
confronted in Chennai with a statement that in the name of 'inter-
faith dialogue' initiated under Vatican's Dominus Jesus, and as US
media rep. of this grand initiative, he was promoting
proselytization. His expertise in s'rivais.n.avam is hollow and
knowledge of Tamil, zero, even though an article appeared in Kumudam
appeared showing a photo of his Tamil handwriting). k<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
We are celebrating Vedanta Desika at Harvard tomorrow.

Please see below.  If any of you has any historical material
on him you may please post.  Please oin if you are in the

Best regards,
Bijoy Misra

                                    <b>Harvard University
                    Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies
                                     Outreach Lecture</b>

                                           Winter 2006
             "Vedanta Desika - Loving God in Medieval South India"

                           Professor Francis X. Clooney, S.J.
                                   Harvard Divinity School

                         Saturday, February 11, 2006, 3:00 PM
                      Hall A, Harvard University Science Center
                               1 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Abstract: Srivashnavism is one of the principal traditions in Indian
religious life. Vedanta Desika (1268-1369) was a prominent
Srivaisnava scholar in the tradition of the Alvar poet saints of
South India and the Vedanta tradition of Ramanuja. An important late
work in his long and prolific career is the Srimad
Rahasyatrayasaram, wherein he expounds the meaning of the three
sacred mantras of the tradition, the nature of taking refuge with
Lord Narayana and Sri Laksmi, the way of life of true devotees, and
the correct manner of teaching and learning as a Srivaisnava. The
lecture will introduce the text and highlight its fundamental
insight into love of God - in the Srivaisnava tradition, and more
broadly for Hindus and in an interreligious context.

                  Contact telephones: 617-864-5121, 617-495-3295
             URL: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~sanskrit/outreach.html<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Virtual assaults


[V. GANESAN's photo of Francis X. Clooney.]

IN July 2005, when Jesuit Fr. Francis X. Clooney was preparing to
travel to India, someone forwarded him a mail circulating on the
Internet. It was about "stopping the evangelist Clooney" when he
comes to India the next time, probably his tenth trip to the country
since the early 1970s. <b>The world-renowned expert</b>  <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->  on Purva Mimamsa,
Vedanta, Sri Vaishnavism and comparative theology had just been
appointed Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative
Theology at Harvard University. The source of the mail was not
clear, but the message was.

In Chennai in August 2005, Clooney met with a group of six people
who wanted to "express our concerns about his mission in India". The
August 4 meeting at the Jesuit residence on the Loyola College
campus was held at the American scholar's insistence. He told
Frontline: "We talked for nearly two hours. It was both heated and
cordial. They were smiling and courteous when leaving, whatever the

On August 10, a message appeared in the online forum of the South
Asia Analysis Group (SAAG). Titled "The futility of inter-faith
dialogue - A meeting with Francis X. Clooney", it was meant to be a
summary of the six-member group's meeting with him. It alleged that
he, the representative of an "alien" faith, was studying
Hinduism "with a view to destroying and destablising our societies,
to rewriting our history through distortion and falsification". The
Harvard Professor is compared to "foreign Christian missionaries
like [Roberto] de Nobili and Christian zealots like Max Müller" who
studied "Hindu religion with destructive intent". De Nobili was a
16th century Italian Jesuit missionary to India and his life and
work - adopting the lifestyle of a Hindu sanyasi, sticking to a
vegetarian diet, learning and writing in Sanskrit and Tamil,
engaging Hindu scholars in philosophical and religious dialogues -
is of considerable interest in contemporary debates in the Catholic
Church about "inculturation" (roughly, indigenising Christianity)
and inter-religious dialogue. The 19th century German scholar Max
Müller, one of the pioneers of Indic studies, is the author of the
multi-volume Sacred Books of the East.

It was alleged that Clooney had claimed that "five important
Vaishnava temples in Tamil Nadu were formerly churches" and demanded
that "they be returned to the Christians". The posting
warned: "Christians cannot lay claim to any territory in this
country. Such demands will ultimately boomerang upon the Christian
community and disturb the peace." Clooney denied the allegation.
Terming the Internet reports as "biased", he said that he was not
aware of any "Catholic effort" to "reclaim" temples in Tamil Nadu,
and personally would have nothing to do with any such plan.

The posting said that after the meeting, the group went with a local
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader to meet some "mathathipathis" and
Vaishnava scholars to apprise them of the "dangers of sharing our
knowledge with foreigners whose motives for learning may not be
wholly benign". It ended with the decision to start "awareness
campaigns" about the "duplicitous nature of activities of Ratzinger
[Pope Benedict XVI]... [and] Clooney which was intended to promote
religious conversion" and, of course, "Catholic Sonia Gandhi".

On November 14, 2005, a paper, "From De Nobili to Clooney: The
Christian Methods of Inculturation", was posted on
www.christianaggression.org. Written by one K.V. Ramakrishna Rao, it
was "presented during the 12th session of Tamilnadu History
Congress, Mayiladuthurai, Tamilnadu". The web site claims to
hold "the Christian faith in high regard and is in no way anti-
Christian. Rather this web site is opposed to the aggression
practised under in [sic] the name of Christianity". The titles of a
few articles found in the site are quite instructive: "Pope blesses
YSR to turn AP into Christa Pradesh", "Churches Mushrooms [sic] in
Tirumala", "Politico-evangelical onslaught on Hindus", "Challenge of
religious conversion and Hindu response", and so on.

The paper defines "inculturation" as "the plan of Christians being
within the folds of culture, tradition and heritage of any people,
posing as faithful devotees and declare the `hidden Christ' at right
moment, so that they [dubbed as heathens, infidels, unbelievers]
become `Christians'". <b>Clooney is identified by the author as one who
has been "carrying out his activities among the Srivaishnavas for
around 30 years".</b>

Jesuits such as "[the late] Ignatitius [sic] Hrudhayam, Francis X.
Clooney, Amaladas and others" have adopted De Nobili as their "role
model" and "the mushrooming Catholic ashrams and increasing ochre
rob-clad Christian priests and preachers amply prove their game-
plan". "Gullible Hindus," the paper adds, have helped "Christians
involved in such `inculturation' activities". But Clooney's book
Divine Mother, Blessed Mother: Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary
(Oxford University Press, 2005), has "awakened" them to Clooney
the "Karna" and a "storm is brewing among the involved faithful
believers". Clooney said about the book: "My book... compares the
goddesses with the Virgin Mary in the Catholic tradition. It does
not say that Mary is the goddess or the goddesses are Mary, but
rather that there are interesting ways in which Mary has a place of
reverence just like one of the goddesses" (Frontline, September 23,

Jeffrey J. Kripal.

The paper says that the book "reveals his real intention to elevate
Mary and degrade Hindu goddesses". "Vaishnavites [have] condemn[ed]
his prejudiced convictions, professional bias and unethical
professional handling of `Comparative Theology' coupled with
religious superiority, theological arrogance, holy imperialism, all
definitely leading to fundamentalism and terrorism". Clooney is
described as a "mischievous religious fundamentalist and
communalist" and his work a "theological fraud, religious deceit and
(un)faithful sham inflicted on Hindus under the guise of inter-
religious dialogue... ".

The attacks on Clooney and the Indian Jesuits have come at a
juncture when certain sections within the Catholic Church itself
have raised "concerns" about their work. Ironically, these sections
hold the Jesuits guilty of not doing what their Hindutva-inspired
critics accuse them of doing. For instance, George Weigel, the
author of a famous hagiography, Witness to Hope: The Biography of
Pope John Paul II, and a conservative Catholic commentator,
observes: "Of far more concern... is the condition of the Society in
India, now one of the largest communities of Jesuits in the world -
many of whom, according to knowledgeable observers, are unpersuaded
of, or are unprepared to defend, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as
saviour of the world, and who are thus committed to downplaying the
Church's missionary mandate" (God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and
the Future of the Catholic Church; Harper Collins, 2005; page 69;
emphasis added). In the footnote to the quoted passage, Weigel
observes that according to 2004 figures, "4,003 ( 20.2 per cent) of
the world's 19,850 Jesuits live in... India" and laments
the "impending influence of the Indian Jesuits" (ibid., 276).

THE attack on Clooney is only the latest in a series of attacks
directed at Western scholars studying Indian religions. Broadly
coinciding with the rise of the Hindu Right in Indian politics, the
majority of the attacks have their provenance on the Internet. Since
the late 1990s, the targets have included some of the most respected
names in religious studies in the U.S. academy - Wendy Doniger, who
holds multiple appointments in the University of Chicago; Paul B.
Courtright, Professor, Department of Religion, Emory University;
Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Religious Studies,
Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Rice University; Sarah
Caldwell, formerly Assistant Professor of Religious Studies,
California State University, Chico, and Visiting Professor at
Harvard Divinity School; and David Gordon White, who teaches at the
Religious Studies Department of the University of California, Santa

Their work was held responsible for "the negative stereotyping of
Indic traditions" abroad. The after-effects of such assaults were
felt by the scholars in the form of death threats and web petitions
demanding a ban on their books. Although most of them tried to
engage their attackers in debates about their work, it only led to
more outrageous ad hominem attacks. For Sarah Caldwell the
experience was so traumatic that she left the academy.

Wendy Doniger told Frontline: "The unfairness of the attacks has
inspired me to write a book about the history of Hinduism, which I
would never otherwise have done, stating clearly things that I had
assumed were too obviously true to merit being stated in print, but
which have been grotesquely distorted by the Hindutva faction and by
the non-academic attacks on American academics who study Hinduism."

Kripal, probably the most meticulous and systematic in responding to
his "critics", said: "[T]he whole experience has taught me how
precious, rare and beautiful intellectual freedom is, particularly
with respect to the intellectual study of religion. Personally
speaking, I can think of no more important task ahead of us now...
than a robust critique of religion in our lives and cultures."


I dont know what it is about the US but there is a taco shop near my place which says "world renowned tacos".. <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->
In US when they talk about "world series" it means between US and Mexico. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Apnaa Gungadin meanwhile got hold of this story too and has immediately rushed to his massas to repeat his tricks..

Since Kripal is mentioned in that article I might as well post this link..


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Black Book Of Psychoanalysis – How To Live, Think And Get On Better Without Freud, follows a critical path that is well-trodden in the US and Britain, where experts have long since questioned the veracity of Freud’s case studies as well as the validity of his ideas. <b>In France, around 70% of French psychiatrists base their treatment of depression, phobias and other mental ailments on Freudian theory.</b>

Most countries now use of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) – which works by helping a patient understand and overcome patterns of behaviour. Pure French Freudians see this as a superficial mechanism designed to return patients to usefulness in the results-based societies of “le monde Anglo-Saxon”.

Authors of the Black Book – 40 experts from 10 countries – trace the Freudian domination of France back to May 1968 when followers of the master and his French disciple Jacques Lacan took control of the psychiatric establishment. <b>France is the world’s biggest per capita consumer of anti-depressants and tranquillisers as the result</b>, the authors claim, of the failures of the couch-and-notebook school and the lack of any alternative.

One section of the book entitled “Victims Of Psychoanalysis” contains painful accounts from French mothers of autistic children. <b>Freudian theory had it that autism was caused by the mother’s “unconscious wish that the child should not exist”</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>From De Nobili to Clooney: The Christian Methods of Inculturation</b>

<i>Posted November 14, 2005
K. V. Ramakrishna Rao
Presented during the 12th session of Tamilnadu History Congress
Mayiladuthurai, Tamilnadu, on 30th October to 2nd October 2005.</i>

<b>Introduction </b>

Inculturation, as propounded by the Vatican Council II Documents 1, is the plan of Christians being within the folds of culture, tradition and heritage of any people, posing as faithful devotees and <b>declare the "hidden Christ" at right moment, so that they (dubbed as heathens, infidels, unbelievers) become "Christians".Till such time, they have to adapt and adopt their culture and related customs, practices and manners. </b> They even build Temple-like Churches, use Hindu symbols and paraphernalia extensively and the Christian priests roam as Hindu Sanyasis and Sadhus 2. By the Vatican Directive Prot. N. 802/69 dated April 25, 1969, <b>Twelve Points of Inculturation were permitted in India</b>. So far, the "Inculturation" activities carried out by the Christian missionaries <b>among the Saivites </b>have been the topical discussed in selected for a and published in books also 3. Perhaps, for the first time, the authors have come across a Jesuit, who has been carrying out his activities among the Srivaishnavas for around 30 years. He is Professor FX. Clooney from Harvard University's Divinity department, following the steps of Roberto de Nobili 4.

It is well known as to how Roberto de Nobili, a Jesuit came from Italy claiming as a "Roma Brahmin", donned ochre robes, learned Indian languages, forged "Yasur Veda", was tried by the Eccelestical Court and finally died in Chennai itself without any news.

Roberto de Nobili as a Role Model: In 2000, after the Pope's condemnation of practice of Yoga and other Eastern Meditation methods by the Catholic priests and others, some Christians have also started criticizing the inculturation-programs 5. However, the ongoing activities by the inculturation and Inter-religious / Faith groups / programs clearly prove that they are pursued vigorously with the same old plans 6.

Though, Fr. Bede Griffiths has not openly recorded in his writings, <b>Jesuits like Ignatitius Hrudhayam, Francis X. Clooney, Amaladas and others have revealed that they follow Roberto de Nobili as their role model</b>. Thus, the succeeding Jesuits in India have taken his method of "Inculturation" as a "role model" overtly and covertly. The mushrooming Catholic Ashrams and increasing ochre rob clad Christian priests and preachers amply prove their game-plan.

<b>Gullible Hindus Helping Inculturation: Invariably, Hindus directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly help the Christians involved in such "Inculturation" activities. </b>

- They simply think that these Christians want to know Hinduism;

- They are happy that the white skinned foreigners too want to follow their religious practices;

- They appreciate that they follow sincerely, when their fellow Hindus do not do so.

Thus, they fall prey and help them in all aspects, even giving place in their own homes, treating them as their family members. As Sivadharma helped Roberto de Nobili, there have been many Vaishnavites, who have helped and still been helping Clooney. To quote himself in this regard 7 –

"Of my guides in India, a few come to the fore; Professor A. Thiruvengadanathan, with whom I read commentaries for the first time in the summer and fall of 1983; Professor M. A. Venkatakrishnan, who helped me obtain necessary texts and with whom I read during 1992-93;…………..Mr. M. V. Mohanarangan, a friend who graciously assisted me on where to go, whom to meet, which books to buy; in Mylapore, K. Ramadurai Bhattacharya of the Matava Perumal temple and Sri Satakopacharya of the Kesava Perumal temple, who welcomed me into daily life and great festivals at those temples; Sri Anaviar Srinivasan, a friend and guide to all things Vaishnava, who invited me to Alvartirunagari in January, 1993 and welcomed me into his home, so that I could share the winter festival in celebration of Tiruvaymoli and, for once, seem to stand almost inside tradition I was studying; Sri Kumaravati Ramanujacharya, who graciously allowed me to join his weekly circle of students in studyting the commentaries on Tiruvaiymozhi, and who helped me to understand both the meanings of the texts and what it means to live a life infused with their vitality; and most especially, Professor T. E. Sampath Kumaran, retired professor of philosophy from Vivekananda College, who generously shared with me endless amounts of his time, his insight, and his love of the songs – day after day- helping me to see the brilliance and depth of Nampillai's Itu, as well as what it is like to sit with a true acharya."

Thus, it is evident that he has learned everything from Hindus as a "Karna". However, his recent book 8, "Divine Mother, Blessed Mother" has made them awakened and storm is brewing among the involved faithful believers.

<b>"Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary": This is the subtitle of the recent book of Clooney mentioned above, which has been dissented, refuted and disapproved by the involved Vaishnavites.</b> They have been totally dejected and dismayed, the way in which he collected the inner information from them and now using, rather misusing in different way. Under the guise of "Comparative Theology", he has tried to compare certain Hindu Goddesses with the Mary taking the following six works:

Title of the work
Author / Composer
Period / date

Sri Guna Ratna Kosa (Auspicious Treasury of the Jewels That Are Sri's Quality)

Parasara Pattar

12th century CE


Saundarya Lahiri (Wave of Beauty)

Attributed to Sankara

10th cent. or before.


Apirami Antati (Linked verses for Apirami – the Beautiful One)

Apirami Bhattar

18th cent.


Akathistos (Sing while Notseated)

Not mentioned

6th cent.


Stabat Mater


13th cent.


Mataracamman Antati [Antati verses in Honour of the Queen among women – the Goddess (of Mylapore)]


19th cent.


Here, the important differences are tabulated as follows:

Hindu tradition

Christian tradition

1. Godhead has been accepted both as Male and Female.

1. Godhead is always considered as Male.

2. "Mother / Female Goddess" concept is perceived, conceived and applied in all aspects.

2. "Mother / Female Goddess" concept is anathema to the "Father / Male God". Even, Mary is considered as only "Mother of God".

3. It is very common that God can be imagined with female and male characteristics – individually, separately and in combine also.

3. In Christian or Semitic theology, God cannot be imagined with female and as well as male characteristics.

4. Brahma-Saraswati, Vishnu-Lakshmi, Siva-Parvati etc., have Male-Female representation with Father-Mother Status.

4. In attempted comparison, Male Jesus is placed with Female Mary, who are repeatedly mentioned as Son (the only Son) and Mother (the Virgin Mary).

5. The above Male-Female combinations have been very common since time immemorial in all forms and representations.

5. Holy Spirit-Mary, Joseph-Mary, etc., are unthinkable and forbidden making the researchers in dilemma. Of course, the pundits and experts of "Comparative Theology" tactfully avoid and explain away.

6. The Vedic scriptures have been dated to c. 5500 to 2500 BCE.

6. The Biblical scriptures are dated to first centuries of the Current / Common Era (CE).

Clooney's Claim of Understanding of Hindu Goddesses through Mother Mary : The following description has been faithfully taken from his recent work without changing crucial words.

- Hindus Goddesses have fascinated Clooney for many years since 1973.He has approached his counterpart-theology as a Christian, as a Roman Catholic and a Jesuit priest encountering the faith and cult of goddess tradition.

- He claims that he has himself translated and read the Hindu works of hymns quoted closely in light of their traditional commentaries.

- However, he admits that it is no small matter to recommend that Christian theologians take Hindu Goddesses seriously and study the goddess hymns with theological care, as Christian theology is rooted in biblical tradition deeply dedicated to the one true God and also, seems, to dismissal of the idea of goddess.

- He also confesses that although Christian tradition does include instances of reflection of God as mother, their implications are minimally developed.

- With all the prohibitions of Christian dogma, he notes that several books have helped him understand that the rich and unsettling possibilities of the cult of Mary, and to see how Mary, the one who helps Christians to understand Sri, Devi and Apirami.

- Here, he reveals his real intention to elevate Mary and degrade Hindu Goddesses.

- Realizing his theological attack now on their Goddesses, <b>Vaishnavites condemn his prejudiced convictions, professional bias and unethical professional handling of "Comparative Theology" coupled with religious superiority, theological arrogance, holy imperialism, all definitely leading to fundamentalism and terrorism. </b>

The traditional and modern Vaishnavite scholars have also surprised to note and doubt as to whether a mischievous religious fundamentalist and communalist had hidden under the veil of professorship, that too, coming from big Universities to make such comparison and representation. The inter-religious dialogue should be frank and mutual, giving equal respect to the respective beliefs dealt with. The "believers" with whom Clooney had such "dialogues" <b>should have been informed about his motive, norms and standards. But, he did not so. He approached them as a researcher, posing as devout person to understand Hindu Goddesses, made close friendship with temple priests, entered temples and mutts, observed rituals and rites (liturgy), learned the nuances of Vaishnavite theology and finally tried to denigrate and disparage with his sophisticated language, professional bias and scholarly colonialism.</b> He cannot have any standards to measure the divinity of Mother Goddesses, when he cannot accept to have any "Mother" equal to his "Mother Mary". He cannot coolly claim that Mary helped to understand Hindu Goddesses, when he has cheated genuine and honest believers, in fact, who have helped him. <b>Thus, it is really, theological fraud, religious deceit and (un) faithful sham inflicted on Hindus under the guise of Inter-religious dialogue and inculturation, which will have serious consequences in Indian society. </b>

Historical Mother Goddess, Hindu Goddesses and Christian Mary: The Mother Goddess concept, worship and their archaeological evidences have been abundant in ancient civilizations, thousands of years before the advent of Christianity and elevation of Mary, though not as an independent Goddess, but as "Mother of God", as Jesus was the "Only Son of God". Scholars 9 have also pointed out the development of Virgin goddess myth from the Zodiac, the Black Virgin / Goddess, Ishtar, Isis, Mayadevi, Devaki and others. For example, the Black Virgin depicted in four scenes on the inner walls of the Temple of Luxor inscribed by King Amenhotep III is dated to 1538-1501 BCE. The cult of Virgin Mary, thus developed out of such images and in later times, was overlaid the cult of Jesus and its adoption led to the issue of Mother and Woman. However, Christian clergy have never wanted to place Mary above Jesus Christ. Of course, surprisingly, for Joseph, there is no place here. There is no such problem of Immaculate Conception, Virgin Birth etc., in Indian context. Perhaps, that is why Pius IX decreed in 1854 that Mary was free from original sin "in the first instant of her conception". As pointed out Hindu Goddesses can exist independently or with their counterparts. Son-god is always placed below Mother-god in the divine pedestal, whereas, in Christianity, there has been a lot of theological controversy and dogmatic debate about such exigency. The name "Mary" is considered to have been derived from different myths 10 –

- Mirium, a name already existing among the Jews and Gentiles;

- Myrrha, mother of Adonis in Syrian cult;

- Maira, mother of Hermes in Greek mythology;

- Maia, daughter of atlas;

- Maya, mother of Buddha.

- Merris, the Egyptian princess who found the babe Moses.
- Meri, one of the daughters of Ramses II.

But, Sri, Devi or Apirami has no such confused mythical development. Their origin is traced back to Vedic and pre-Christian periods. Thus, they have clear independent concept, worship and religious incorporation. In fact, the male-female rivalry noticed in Puranas have been settled through Artha-narishwara concept (Male-Female Combined Godhead or to show that God is neither Male nor Female at higher / divine level and stressing gender equality a lower / human level). Why Clooney has not touched upon such concept is not known. Moreover, as he has taken three Hindu hymns depicting three different Hindu Goddesses, he could have taken three Christian Goddesses for comparison or better understanding.

Thus, if he could understand Hindu Goddesses through Mary, being "a scholar, professor and member of the academic community", ignoring other aspects, it is not known as to how his study could have been objective, reasonable and comparative so that he could "welcome his fellow scholars for their reactions", as he has offered in his Preface (Nearer the Goddess). As a scholar, he must have recorded the historical background of Mary also for understanding of Christian and Hindu Goddesses in his Comparative theology.

Conclusion: In view of the above discussion, it is evident that the Christian missionaries and Jesuits have not been honest enough to have fair, just and reasonable in having "dialogue" with Hindus. <b>It is unfortunate that they simply discuss with Hindus as foreigners, strangers, "friends", professors and so on, but later record such acquaintances as full-fledged dialogues. </b>A dialogue cannot be dialogue, if the persons with whom the person has dialogued do not know about such dialogue. Thus, in such a one-sided "dialogue", if the Christian priests, that too, being Jesuits indulge in unbecoming acts clearly with intention to hurt the religious feelings, it is evident that they have only religious motives and not research or scholarly pursuits.

If believers of Gods abuse Gods, seekers of Gods destroy Gods, faithful followers of one religion question the faith of others and, against all moral and ethical codes and Universal principles, conduct pseudo-spiritual and psychological-religious warfare against one religion, then these activities are not "inculturation" but "outculturation", as religion and culture are inseparable for Hindus.

"Theo centric and theocratic eclectics are dangerous as nuclear, chemical and other warheads. The concept of "My God is your God, but your Gods is No God" does not foster understanding, co-operation and goodwill." The concept should be changed to "Your God is my God and my God is your God" and accepted by all religions.(11)

This is the only way for humanity today. Super God Rivalry, religious superiority, racial / arrogant theology, theocratic world domination and neo-spiritual globalism cannot make "believers" live in peaceful existence. Therefore, the behaviour, attitude and psyche of the inter-religious theologists should change making "dialogue" a "dialogue" but not a secret "monologue" to undermine, disparage and denigrate other Gods, scriptures and religions. Historical facts, established parallels after borrowals and chronological developments and changes should be mentioned clearly. They should clearly spell out their purpose of dialogue and standards before initiating dialogues.

<i>Notes and References </i>

The authors, G. P. Srinivasan and K. V. Ramakrishna Rao have been studying this issue for the last 25 years. The latter has meetings and correspondence with Fr. Bede Griffiths, Ignatitius Hrudhayam, Swamy Kulandai Swamy (Fr. Victor J. F. Kulanday), Hans Staffner, Fr. Francis X. Clooney and others. There has been a lot of correspondence appeared in Indian Express (Madras edition), Catholic journals (Laity etc) during 1987-89 on this subject, later published in the form of books.

1. Vatican II Documents, St. Paul Publications, Bombay.
Report of the General Meeting of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.

2. Bede Griffiths, Return to the Centre , UK, 1986. See the website on him.

3. Christian priests and researchers have infiltrated many Saivite temples, mutts and religious places, collected valuable manuscripts and tried to interpret that Christianity is the reason for the development of Saiva religion and Saiva Siddhanta philosophy itself.

4. About the complete bio-data of Francis X. Clooney, see the website: http://www2.bc.edu/~clooney/cv.html (1 to 19 pages).

For his complete activities see the following websites:






5. Sia Ram Goel, Catholic Ashrams – Sanyasins or Swindlers , Voice of India, New Delhi, 1988.

For Christian view, see the following:

Swami Kulandaisami (VictorJ. F. Kulandai), The Paganization of the Chuch in India, "Galilee", 6, Nimmo Road, San thome, Madras, 1988.

6. … History of Hindu-Christian Encounters , Voice of India, New Delhi, 1989 and other editions.

7. Francis X. Clooney, S.J, Seeing Through Texts – Doing Theology among the Srivaisnavas of South India , State University of New York Press, Preface, pp.xx-xxi, 1996.

8. … Divine Mother, Blessed Mother – Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin May , Oxford University Press, USA, 2005.

9. Edward Carpenter, Pagan and Christian Creeds , Harcourt, Brace and Co., New York, 1920, pp.32-33.

John M. Robertson, Hindu Mythology and Christianity, Swati Publications, New Delhi, 1989.

C. F. Volney, The Ruins, or Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires and the Law of Nature, Truth Seeker Co., New York, 1890.

10. John M. Robertson, opt.cit, pp.319-320.

11. Major T.Vedantam, "Christianity a political problem" pp 12.,1982.

Rajiv Malhotra's blog on Manusmriti
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I was recently called by studients from UC Berkeley inviting me to debate Vijay Prashad on campus, which I instantly accepted. Unfortunately, they called me back to say that Vijay declined. Presumably, he prefers to hit-and-run behind my back in forums where I am not allowed to respond.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I can confidently say that in my religious upbringing I never came across any Hindu who got up in the morning reading Manusmriti to guide his actions. It is simply not what academicians have made it out to be. Hindus are guided by the other sources mentioned above.<i> <b>The main group of individuals who study Manusmriti today are Indologists.</b></i><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Why they are called Indologists? Take an example, Witzel is not Sanskrit or Hindi expert. He had never lived in India. Whatever garbage comes out of him is from his cozy room in US. Sitting here he is promoting his country of origin Germany’s "Father of Nation" Hitler version of Aryan Supremacy theory.

They should be called something else.
Please Mudy, per latest IER post some other fake-o-logist seems to be upset with Witzel being called a 'linguist' by NPR! A more appropriate title for his work would be Aryan Superiorist Scholar (ASS)
<b> Aryan Superiorist Scholar (ASS)</b>. That sound much better. People from IER group falls under this category. ASS are just promoting Aryan Supermacy theory. They have taken baton from Hitler army and promoting same old agenda. Hitler is dead but his youth army is still kicking.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->IER post some other fake-o-logist seems to be upset with Witzel being called a 'linguist' by NPR!<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
They can attach ASS with linguist, because he know German, Polish and claim to know German English, US English, Italian English, Hindu English and learning Sanskrit while teaching Sanskrit
Free download.
Critical Observations on the Michael Witzel Petition dt. 11/08/06</b>
By Vishal Agarwal

TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/cftof

Saw this in NH. Havent read this yet.
ok Yindoos.... <!--emo&:bcow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_cowboy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_cowboy.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Another one rides along to tell us - old is Hindusthan, new is South Asia; Separating India and Hinduism; Focusing on formless (G)god; ah well.. usual.....

But in all fairness to Dr. Lorenzen, I have not read his work(s), so I will stop at that. Perhaps IRFAN folks can investigate this Professor and enlighten us yindoos.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>WHO INVENTED HINDUISM </b>
<i>by David N. Lorenzen</i>
Essays on Religion in History
(New Perspectives on Indian Pasts)

Book presents ten masterly essays on the history of religious movements and ideologies in India by the eminent scholar of religious studies. The volume asks two principal questions -- <b>how did the religion of the Hindu affect the course of Indian history and what sort of an impact did the events of Indian history have on the Hindu religion?</b>  <!--emo&:omg--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/omg.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='omg.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Contents : 1. <b>Who Invented Hinduism?</b> / 2. Warrior Ascetics in Indian History / 3. Early Evidence for Tantric Religion / 4. Traditions of Non-caste Hinduism : The Kabir Path / 5. The Life of Kabir in Legend / 6. The Social Ideologies of Hagiography : Sankara, Tukaram and Kabir / 7. <b>Religion, Skin Colour and Language : Arya and Non-Arya in the Vedic Period</b> / 8. The Religious Ideology of Gupta Kingship / 9. Europeans in Late Mughal <b>South Asia</b> : The Perception of Italian Missionaries / 10. <b>Marcodella Tomba in Hindustan</b>.

Question : "Who Invented Hinduism?"
Answer : Morons of Western world. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
if the answer was just "morons", the wise could still have surmised the "western world" bit. <!--emo&Wink--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='wink.gif' /><!--endemo-->

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