Francis X. Clooney, SJ, The Construction of "Hindu Theology" in Hindu God, Christian God

Hindu God, Christian God: How Reason Helps to Break Down the Boundaries Between Religions (Oxford University Press, 2001) is a project in comparative theology, seeking to draw Christian and Hindu thinkers into a conversation on philosophical and religious concerns that they in fact already share. To make the case, however, it was necessary a) to present Hindu religious thinking in a way that "matches" Christian religious thinking, b) to draw upon an array of classical Hindu thinkers (in Mīmāṃṣā, Vedānta, Nyāya, in Tamil Vaiṣṇavism and Śaivism) who might ordinarly not be discussed together, c) to compare them with 20th century Christian theologians, and thus d) to argue that many of the prominent Hindu thinkers are best identified as theologians. This complex approach raises interesting and difficulty questions in the context of the study of India. In this presentation the speaker will discuss some of the key advantages and problems related to the book.

Francis X. Clooney, SJ, is Professor of Comparative Theology, Boston College and Visiting Director of the Oxford Centre for Vaishnava and Hindu Studies.