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Christian – Vaishnava Dialogue in the US: An action-research minor field study
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Religious diversity is the inevitable corollary of globalization and with it comes the challenge and opportunities of greatly increased interaction with religious Others. The United States was founded on an Anglo-Saxon Protestant basis but has now become "the world’s most religiously diverse nation" according to one Harvard religious studies scholar. To deal with this development, American thinkers, mainly Christians, have devoted a good deal of scholarship in the past three to four decades construing strategies how to meet and interact with the religious Other. During the 70’s and 80’s, a typology of exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism was developed by Christians as a response to religious diversity. Many see today that it is a necessity to find an alternative to hostility and violence and therefore dialogue is the order of the day. Since Christians are still by far the largest faith-group, and the US has economic resources, US Christians have a natural predominance in dialogue. Is that good or bad from the stand point of the minority Other? One such minority is a major sub-division of Hinduism, namely Vaishnavism. Christian-Vaishnava dialogue in the US is a new phenomenon in the past two decades and an emerging minority representative is a globalized Vaishnava organization ISKCON, popularly known as the Hare Krishna movement, which has its Western roots in the counter-culture of the 1960’s. While ISKCON struggled for legitimacy in the 70’s and ‘80’s, it has in recent decades become a major factor in Hindu and especially Vaisnava representation. How American Christians respond today to Vaishnava dialogue and how this typology arose and functions as a theoretical basis for the on-going development of Christian-Vaishnava dialogue is the subject of this action-research minor field study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 48 p.
Keyword [en]
Christian predominance, Vaishnavism, ISKCON legitimacy, ecumenical, interfaith dialogue, boundary, exclusivism, inclusivism, pluralism, typology, religious diversity, faith/religion/religious
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-28194OAI: diva2:851175
Subject / course
The Study of Religions
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2015-09-04 Created: 2015-09-03 Last updated: 2015-09-04Bibliographically approved

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