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Christianity in South and Central Asia$
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Kenneth R. Ross, Daniel Jeyaraj, and Todd M. Johnson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439824

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439824.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

Theology

Theology

Chapter:
(p.327) Theology
Source:
Christianity in South and Central Asia
Author(s):

Jesudas Athyal

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439824.003.0029

The arrival in South Asia of the Western missionaries marked a turning point in the Babylonian connection of the church. While Christians in South India initially welcomed the missionaries, their reforms turned traditional Christians against the missionaries. Dalit theology emerged, rejecting the notion that a caste-ridden society and Christianity are compatible. The retreat of communism led to the rise of secularism and religious fundamentalism, while in South Asia, this tension led to renewal of religion. ‘Little Traditions’ are the narratives subsumed by mainline religions; they play a role in interreligious encounters. Pentecostalism in India at the beginning of the twentieth century appealed to Dalits as an alternative to the traditional churches. In South Asia, Western ethnocentrism often identified Christianity almost exclusively with European culture. Religiosity and poverty are two realities in Asia and theologising in the region needs to take seriously the struggles for full humanity; double-baptism refers to Christian collaboration with believers of other religions and secular ideologies while engaging with Asian poverty. The role of theology in repressive contexts is to urge the people of God to keep in dialectical tension the vision of the Kingdom of God and the struggles for freedom, justice and equality.

Keywords:   Theology, Hinduism, Dalits, Christianity, Fundamentalism, Secularism, Traditions, Asian

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