A Fresh Look at the Issues of Conversion and Baptism in Relation to Mission

Article by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

Introduction – “The Messiness of Real Life”: “At the end of one cycle of time, they say, we experience kenosis, an emptying. Things lose meaning, they erode. … The decay of time at the end of a cycle, leads to all manner of poisonous, degrading, defiling effects. A cleansing is required. … Plerosis, the filling …

Among the Ruins – Dr. Kaj Baago’s Theological Challenge Revisited

Article by Jonas Jorgensen

The Rev. Dr. Kaj Baago (1926-1987) joined the faculty of the United Theological College (UTC), Bangalore in June 1960, to which he was sent by the Danish Missionary Society. The decision to accept to work for the Danish Missionary Society had, for theological reasons, been hard to make for Baago although he had felt the …

Asian Theology Today: Searching for Definitions

Article by James M. Cone

An avowed dedication to developing unique, non-Western theological concepts, and a marked emphasis on liberation, are the two dominant factors in Asian theology — currently in a stage of self-definition. As in African theology, Latin American liberation theology and theologies of the oppressed in North America, the search for an Asian theology has its origin …

Chapter 1: Common Life in the Religiously Pluralistic India  in  The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book Chapter by M. M. Thomas

If each Faith keeps its ethics of law dynamic within the framework of and in tension with its own transcendent vision of perfection, the different religious and secular Faiths can have a fruitful dialogue on the nature of human alienation which makes love impossible and for updating our various approaches to personal and public law with greater realism with insights from each other.

Chapter 1: Common Life in the Religiously Pluralistic India, by M. M. Thomas  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

Many visions of perfection are more or less the same or at least analogical, and therefore if each faith keeps its ethics of law dynamic within the framework of, and in tension with, its own transcendent vision of perfection, the different religious and secular faiths can have fruitful dialogue. This is needed in the depth of the nature of human alienation which makes love impossible.

Chapter 10: The Contours of Third World Contextual Theologies, by Felix Wilfred  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

In each context of our pluralism the truth of God’s self-communication acquires new light, new accent and emphasis. The basic pattern of God’s self-revelation as life and grace, on the one hand, and the response in human freedom through faith and deeds to the same revelation on the other, is such a complex and multifaceted reality that it can never be imprisoned in any one single mould.

Chapter 11: Martin, Malcolm and Black Theology, by James H. Cone  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

Theology can never be true to itself in America without engaging blackness, encountering its complex, multi-layered meaning. Theology, as with American society as a whole, can never be true to itself unless it comes to terms with Martin and Malcolm together. Both spoke two different but complementary truths about blackness which white theologians do not want to hear but must hear if we are to create theologies that are liberating and a society that is humane and just for all of its citizens.

Chapter 11:<b> </b>Search For a New Ideology of Struggle For Social Justice With Eco- Justice  in  The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book Chapter by M. M. Thomas

We need a science and technology reinterpreted within a new framework which takes the organic and spiritual dimensions of reality seriously along with the mechanical. It is only then that technological development will promote eco-justice, preserve human personhood and peoplehood. It is an alternative technology that we are seeking.

Chapter 12: Towards an Alternative Paradigm  in  The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book Chapter by M. M. Thomas

The basic central elements in the making of the counter-culture and the germ of the future society are the forces released by the self-awakening and the struggle for self-identity and justice of the traditionally oppressed peoples of India. If the church is to take the Jesus-tradition seriously and become Jesus-communities, its mission should be to build religiously pluralistic communities for concerted action for a better world in the common hope of the Kingdom of God to come.

Chapter 13: The Emerging Political Scenario: the People’s Search For an Alternative  in  The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book Chapter by M. M. Thomas

It is quite unrealistic to build our hope on the expectation that market economy is moving to any inevitable doom or that we can count on the permanence of the democratic polity in India continuing to permit agitation of peoples’ movements against the present pattern of development. Capitalism has shown its resilience before; and if India’s ruling class feels seriously threatened by peoples’ movements there is real possibility of democratic freedoms being restricted.

Chapter 13: The Struggle for Justice and Peace, by Jose Miguez Bonino  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

A look at: 1. Some of the basic points of departure for a Christian consideration of issues of justice and peace. 2. A brief review of the issues from the specific consideration of the situation of the poor as a test for Christian commitment. 3. Some ways in which the Christian community and churches can participate in these struggles.

Chapter 14: The Future of Liberation Theology in Latin America, by Sergio Torres G.  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

We are at the beginning of a new theological development, that of Liberation Theology. This theology is recognizing and assuming the rich indigenous cultures present in the continent before the arrival of the conquerors. There are already some indigenous theologians who are developing this new perspective. They are thinking from inside their traditional cultures and religions. They do not accept any more the presence of outsiders, especially white people, who pretend to speak on behalf of traditional persons.

Chapter 15: Globalization and its Cultural Consequences by S. J. Samartha  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

With the removal of socialism as an alternative, the whole world is thrown open to the claim of market economy, liberal democracy and the powerful march of Western cultural values all over the globe. This claim, in theory and practice, is as exclusive as any made by certain religions in history, and has the same tragic consequences on the life of other people who refuse to accept such claims.

Chapter 16: Self-interest and Justice in Development, by C.T. Kurien  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

With the apparent triumph of capitalism over its rival economic arrangements the view is gaining ground that whatever may be the content of development, there is only one route to it and that is growth. Increasingly, the writings of Adam Smith are being evoked to rehabilitate what may be called a "growth first" approach to development. It is also held that according to Adam Smith, it is the self-interest of the individual that results in growth and wealth, and not any organized national effort to achieve them.

Chapter 18: Mission Of The Church In The Pluralistic Context of India  in  The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book Chapter by M. M. Thomas

Though it has existed in India for centuries, pluralism is also a modern reality.  It is our common historical responsibility to build a genuinely human community, bringing peoples of all religions and cultures together within the framework of pluralism.  What is the gospel for such a pluralistic situation as ours, where the common search is for the path of humanization?

Chapter 2: Interfaith Dialogue: Towards Building New Communities, by Hans Ucko  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

There is a tendency towards monocultures threatening the mosaic of religious plurality and an open human community. It is in such an unmerciful environment that destructive and violent forces, hatred and lust for power, emerge and take over. To enter into dialogue across this monoculturism requires an opening of the mind and heart to others. It is in a culture of dialogue that we are enabled to build the new communities that the world requires.

Chapter 20: The Quest for a Human Community in a Religiously Pluralist World  in  The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book Chapter by M. M. Thomas

The question of providing spiritual fellowship to those committed to Christ in different religious communities is a peculiarly Indian ecclesiological problem which has been with us for many decades and needs to be faced squarely. If the church expects the Hindu family’s toleration of any member converted to Christian faith, the church and Christian families also have to justify theologically and sociologically inter-religious marriages within their circle and deal pastorally with the persons involved.

Chapter 3; Popular Religion & Cultural Identity: Mexican-American Experience in the USA, by Virgil Elzondo  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

From a Mexican perspective, the author is convinced that one can only understand his religious symbols correctly from within and not by mere observation — even the best and most critical — from the outside. In seeking to understand religious symbols correctly, the so-called “objective distance” of Western scholars is a sure guarantee of falsification and objective error, especially if it is not in dialogue with the believers themselves.

Chapter 5:. Technology, Culture and Religion  in  The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book Chapter by M. M. Thomas

Two challenges seem to loom large in the modern world including India which is in the process of modernization; one, of humanizing the technological revolution to serve the poor and protect the ecological basis of life; and the other, of building a secular state and common civil society with openness to religious insights in a situation of religious pluralism.

Chapter 6: Feminist Ethics: A Search for Meaning and Hope from the Margins, by Aruna Gnanadason  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

Most Indian cultures are inherently patriarchal and have viewed women as the property of men and therefore she has very little control over what happens to her body. Cultures in India have permitted the most outrageous traditional practices, with no regard for what this does to the innermost psyche of individual women and to their communities. It is now time for the Church and the ecumenical movement to stop and listen to the voices of the women.

Chapter 7: Theology and Politics: A South African Perspective, by Simon S Maimela  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

There is an increasing awareness that creation in the world we live is not a completed act in some remote past but continues here and now and must be carried forward to its completion through political action. It is thus incumbent on theologians to develop a theology of cultural and social transformation because such a theology can be the only one which truly is political theology.

Chapter 8: Gospel And Secular Culture  in  The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book Chapter by M. M. Thomas

The dynamics of modern “secular culture” have their roots in a concept of humanism derived from the Christian gospel but that because of the failure of the churches to respond positively to the values that emerged in Christian culture as implication of Christian humanism, they were sought to be realized in human history under the dynamic of “secularist ideologies of humanism” in opposition to the Christian faith.

Chapter 8: Theology and Earth, by Larry L. Rasmussen  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

The all determining fact of our need is to understand the earth as an organism, for it is presently endangered. There is a need to understand that earth-nature and society together is a community itself, and one without an exit. There is the need to understand faith now as fidelity to earth in accord with creation’s integrity as God-given.

Chapter 9: Higher Education in Kerala  in  The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book Chapter by M. M. Thomas

The difference between education understood only as training in technical skills within the ideology of the economic growth and education for promoting a technical society within the framework of a culture of “scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”, is indeed great. Education that gives training in technical skills and does not help the trainees to examine and discern the false ends which may be hidden in the engineering and managing technology that they use, is not service to humanity.

Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

(ENTIRE BOOK) Essays in honor Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham on his sixtieth birthday. An eminent theologian and ecumenical leader and teacher, Abraham made significant contributions to both theological and social thinking in India and abroad. The purpose of this volume is to explore theological thinking especially in these areas: 1) Re-definition of mission, 2) Theological and ethical articulation of ecological concerns, 3) Faith response to caste and, communalism, and 4) Ethics and economics with special attention to the question of poverty and development.

Hindutva, Religious and Ethnocultural Minorities, and Indian-Christian Theology

Article by Sathianathan Clarke

(I want to record my appreciation to Dr. O. V. Jathanna and Dr. Jayakiran Sebastian, my faculty colleagues in Theology at United Theological College, Bangalore, specifically for their critical comments on an initial version of this paper and more generally for their consistent encouragement of my ongoing theological journey. — Sathianathan Clarke) In India the …

Infant versus Believers’ Baptism: Search for Ecumenical Understanding

Article by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

Introduction: "By the sacrament of baptism a person is truly incorporated into Christ and into his Church and is reborn to a sharing of the divine life. Baptism, therefore, constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn. Baptism, of itself, is the beginning, for it is directed toward the …

Introduction, by M. P. Joseph  in  Ethical Issues in the Struggles for Justice

Book Chapter by Daniel Chetti and M.P. Joseph

This volume, collectively produced by friends and students of Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham, is to do him honor and express our deep gratitude for his leadership and contribution to both theological and social thinking in India and abroad. Kuruvilla C. Abraham, popularly known as K. C. Abraham (and KC to his friends) is an …

Martyrs and Heretics: Aspects of the Contribution of Women to Early Christian Tradition

Article by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

"For every woman who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven."[2] "Christianity did enlarge the possibilities for women. The really important shift in belief here is that commitment to God may require, in both men and women, abandonment of duties to family and State. For the first time, women (some women) could reject …

Messianic Politics: Toward a New Political Paradigm

Article by Yong-Bok Kim

Humankind in the 1980s faces a grave political crisis, as its very existence is threatened by the most powerful and destructive political entities in history: the totalitarian and imperialist powers. Linked up with authoritarian and military dictatorships around the world, these global powers are becoming absolute, beyond the control of any government or institution. With …

Minjung and Power : A Biblical and Theological Perspective on Doularchy (Servanthood)

Article by Yong-Bok Kim

Power has been the perennial problem in human history. The reality of power is complex; and its use and misuse in all human, social and political relations and interactions has been a question of utmost importance for all peoples. In movements for liberation from oppression, the question has been always raised not only in terms …

Permeating All Things with Divinity:Jesus in Selected Writings of the Teachers of the Early Church i

Article by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

Introduction: In Search of a Context   "Christologies based on a Europe-centered history, a too narrow or deductive Christ-centered theology, and a church-centered mission tied to classical dogmas about the person of Christ and theories of the atonement, which respond to Western needs, are not only irrelevant to the life of the people but often …

Pietists and Contextualists: The Indian Situation

Article by Max L. Stackhouse

Contextuality issues are prominent among Indian theologians today, as I found out some months ago at an intense, weeklong seminar hosted by the United Theological College in Bangalore. Several international participants joined Indian scholars in assessing the Indian situation and comparing it with Western traditions. In some ways the West continues to influence Indian Christianity, …

Preface  in  The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book Chapter by M. M. Thomas

These papers, essays and talks deal primarily with the Indian Church’s mission and Indian ecclesiology in relation to two contemporary Indian realities, namely religious and ideological pluralism and the peoples’ movements against the present pattern of development under globalisation. Text: This is a collection of twenty-one selected essays given as papers and talks at various …

Pressure on the Hyphen: Aspects of the Search for Identity Today in Indian-Christian Theology

Article by J. Jayakiran Sebastian

Introduction:   … multiculturalists who strive to constitute non-discriminatory minority identities cannot simply do so by affirming the place they occupy, or by returning to an ‘unmarked’ authentic origin or pre-text: their recognition requires the negotiation of a dangerous indeterminacy, since the too-visible presence of the other underwrites the authentic national subject but can never …

The Church’s Mission and Post-Modern Humanism

Book by M. M. Thomas

(ENTIRE BOOK) This collection of 21 papers by the great ecumenical theologian deals with the search for a new ideology in the face of the break-up of Socialism, the crisis of Secularism, and the growth of religious fundamentalism. Dr. Thomas proposes a new ideology of struggle for both social and ecological justice — a spiritual framework for a post modern holistic humanism based on an understanding of Christ as the Suffering Servant.

The Concept of Trinity and Its Implication for Christian Communication in Indian Context

Article by Joseph Oomen

What is our God like? How shall we believe in the Three-in-One? Is such a doctrine intelligible? Who is the God in whom we trust? These are perhaps the most important questions that any one can ask. No human language or analogy can sufficiently explain what God is like. But still we must explore it. …

The Jesus of Nineteenth Century Indian Christian Theology

Article by Sathianathan Clarke

The proclivity to discover, fathom, and interpret other philosophical and theological systems was not a mark of traditional Hinduism. ‘In traditional thought and literature, there has been virtually no interest in foreign countries, societies, cultures or religions. . . India has not reached out for the west; it has not actively prepared the encounter and …

Wisdom Tradition and the Indian Parallels with specific reference to Telugu Literature

Article by G. Babu Rao

I The Old Testament books of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes are known as ‘Wisdom Literature’. Two books of the Apocrypha, namely, Ben Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus) and Wisdom of Solomon are also considered as wisdom books. The judeo-christian tradition had associated Wisdom with King Solomon and hence the authorship of some of these books was attributed …