Globalization and Militant Hindu Nationalisim: The New Context for Theology in India
This paper is an attempt to propose new directions for doing Christian theology in India, specifically using the framework of a “renewed ecclesiology,” in the new context of globalization and militant Hindu nationalism. In recent years, Christians have been the target of violent attacks by militant Hindu nationalists. Critically analyzing the history of Christianity and militant Hindu nationalism in India, this paper claims that militant Hindu nationalism originated in the context of Western colonialism, which brought about a crisis of religious, cultural, and national identity among Hindus. It also left India poverty stricken. It is further claimed that globalization is perceived as recreating colonization-like situations, only now at a staggering speed and on a global level, thus representing economic, political, cultural, and social issues formerly associated with colonialism. The attacks on Christians by militant Hindu nationalists must be understood within the dynamics of globalization. The Church in India needs to respond to the crisis emerging from globalization and militant Hindu nationalism. It is proposed that a “renewed ecclesiology” can provide the basis of a theological response. “Renewed ecclesiology” builds upon the method of contextual theology proposed by Robert Schreiter. Building also on the already existing theology in India, “renewed ecclesiology” means that the three traditional areas of focus of Indian theology – inculturation, interreligious dialogue, and social justice – would be addressed within newer frameworks implementing advances in intercultural communications. The main conclusion of the dissertation is that it is through a “renewed ecclesiology” that the Church in India can become genuinely Indian in a way that reappropriates the cultural and religious integration the Church had achieved in the pre-colonial era.
Keywords: Globalization, Militant Hindu Nationalism, "Renewed Eccclesiology
Rev. Satish Joseph
Doctoral Student (Defending dissertation on Feb 25, 2008), Religious Studies.