Globalization and Militant Hindu Nationalisim: The New Context for Theology in India

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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
Stream: Social Perspectives
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Rev. Satish Joseph

Doctoral Student (Defending dissertation on Feb 25, 2008), Religious Studies.
Dayton, OH, USA

Rev. Satish Joseph is an ordained minister in the Roman Catholic Church. Due to be conferred the doctoral degree in May 2008, he is also the associate pastor at St. Helen Parish, Dayton OH. He completed his B.Ph at the Bangalore University,and B.Th in St. Alphonsus Seminary, both in India. He then completed his Masters in Communication at the University of Dayton, Ohio. He pursued the doctoral program in Theology at the University of Dayton. He has two publications to his credit. The Journal of Communication and Religion published his Masters Thesis, "The Effect of Vividness on the Memorability and Persuasiveness of a Sermon: A Test of the Elaboration Likelihood Model," and American Catholic Studies published "Long Live the Republic!" Father Edward Purcell and the Slavery Controvesy: 1861-1865." His interest is in interreligious dialogue.

Ref: E08P0021