Academic Programs 

  Comparative Religious Ethics and Dialogical Theology 
Within a Hindu-Christian Framework
Fall 2002

This course is an opportunity to explore the dialogical dynamic within a Hindu - Christian framework with a focus on ethical issues and contextual theology. This will be accompanied by a more general inquiry into the relationship between dialogical faith affirmations and religious ethics. 


Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
Thursdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:20 p.m.
Location: Room 205

K.P. Aleaz
Visiting Scholar in Theology and Ethics and Faculty, Bishop’s College, Calcutta, India

Contact Information:
(860) 509-9500 

Course Syllabus
Class web site

A Statement of the Purpose/Objectives of the Course:

The purpose of the course is the relational convergence of the Hindu and Christian religious faiths at both the levels of theology and ethics in the faith experience and practical life in community of the Hindus and Christians. This is conceived in terms of an approach in theology of religions called Pluralistic Inclusivism, which is open to receive insights from other religious experiences and theologies. The suggestion is to go beyond a comparative approach to an inter-relational approach,as religious traditions are not static finished products rather dynamic inter-related experiences of growth at both the levels of theology and ethics. Pluralistic Inclusivism stands for dialogical theology and ethics that encourage the relational convergence of religions, conceiving on the one hand the divers religious resources of the world as the common property of humanity and on the other a possible growth in the richness of each of the religious experiences through mutual inter-relation.


A statement of the themes that will be covered:

1.Pluralistic Inclusivism: The perspective from which the study is conducted.

2. The Sources of Hindu and Christian Ethics: The Vedas, Sutras, Epics and the darsanas; Biblical basis for Christian Ethics

3. Karma-Samsara and Dharma.

4. Purusartha, Asramadharma and Varnadharma.

5. Christian Ethics and Christian Theology.

6.Relating Christian Ethics to the Hindu Religio-Cultural Ethos.

7.Issues for Ethical Reflection: Sex, Marriage and Family; Economic Life; Alienation and Struggle of the Dalits; Communalism: Its meaning and Implications etc.

8. Trinity as Saccidananda.

9.Indian Christian Interpretations of Jesus.

10. Neo-Vedantic Interpretations of Christ.

11. Religious Plurality as a Theological Issue in the Christian Faith.

12. Role of Pramanas in Hindu-Christian Epistemology.

13. A convergence of Advaita Vedanta and Eastern Christian Thought.


Course Requirements:

50-100 pages of reading per week; one written assignment of 3000 words conforming to conventional technical and stylistic standards as stipulated in the General Guidelines; and an examination. The weekly reading and the written assignment together will carry25% and the examination 75% of marks.

Class Meeting Schedule:

The above given 13 themes will be covered in the 13 weeks of classes, one each week.

Reading Schedule:

The candidate is free to select any of the sources listed in the bibliography for the weekly reading.

Examination and Assignment due dates:

Assignment should be submitted by the end of October and the examination will be at the beginning of December.


List of Required Texts:

On Hindu Ethics:  

Coward, Harold G, Julius J. Lipner, Katherine K. Young, Hindu Ethics, Delhi: Indian Books Centre, 1991;New York: State University of New York, 1989.

Crawford, S. Cromwell, The Evolution of Hindu Ethical Ideals, Calcutta: Firma K.L.Mukhopadhyay, 1974;Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press, 1982. Asian Studies at Hawaii, No.28.

Motlhabi,M.B.G., Comparative Religious Ethics, Pretoria: University of South Africa,1998,pp.143-71.

Tiwari, Kedar Nath, Classical Indian Ethical Thought (A Philosophical Stud of Hindu, Jain and Bauddha Morals, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass,1998.

On Christian Ethics:

Chandran, J.Russel, Christian Ethics, Delhi: ISPCK,2000.

Das, Somen, Christian Ethics and Indian Ethos, Second Edition, Revised, Delhi: ISPCK, 1994.

Mabry, Hunter P.,(ed.&Intro.), Christian Ethics-An Introductory Reader, Second Edition, Serampore: Senate of Serampore College, 1993.

4      “       (ed.), Doing Christian Ethics. Context and Perspective, Bangalore: Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College, 1996.

On Hindu-Christian Dialogical Theology

Aleaz, K.P., Christian Thought Through Advaita Vedanta, Delhi: ISPCK, 1996.

      “           ,Jesus in Neo-Vedanta. A Meeting of Hinduism and Christianity, Delhi: Kant Publications, 1995.

      “           , The Role of Pramanas in Hindu-Christian Epistemology, Culcutta: Punthi Pustak,1991.

      “           , A Convergence of Advaita Vedanta and Eastern Christian Thought, Delhi: ISPCK, 2000.

Baggo, Kaj, Pioneers of Indigenous Christianity, Bangalore/Madras: CISRS/CLS,1962.

Current Dialogue, No.37, June 2001.

Samartha, S.J., One Christ- Many Religions. Toward a Revised Christology, Maryknoll: Orbis, 1991; Bangalore: SATHRI, 1992.

Mataji, Vandana, Living with Hindus. Hindu- Christian Dialogues. My Experiences and Reflections, Bangalore/Delhi: IJA/ISPCK,1999.


List of Recommended Texts

On Comaparative Religious Ethics

Aiyer, P.S.Sivaswamy, Evolution of Hindu Moral Ideals, Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1976.

Astley, Jeff, Choosing Life? Christianity and Moral Problems, London: Darton, Longman &Todd, 2000.

Chawla, Prabha, Equality and Justice in East and West, Delhi: Classical Indian Publications, 1989.

Chidester, David, Patterns of Action: Religion and Ethics in Comparative Perspective, Belmont, Ca: Wordsworth Publishing Co, 1987.

Clark, Stephen R l, Biology and Christian Ethics, Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Crawford, S. Cromwell (ed.), World Religions and Global Ethics, New York: Pentagon House, 1983.

Creel, Austin B., Dharma in Hindu Ethics, Calcutta: Firma KLM, 1977

Devaraja, N.K, Hinduism and Christianity, Bombay etc.: Asia Publishing House, 1969.

Gorringe, Timothy J., The Education of Desire: Towards a Theology of the Senses, London: SCM Press, 2001.

Green, Ronald M., Religion and Moral Reason. A New Method for Comparative Study, New York& Oxford: Oxford University Press,1988.

Hicks, Douglas A., Inequality and Christian Ethics, Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Hindery, B.. Comparative Ethics in Hindu and Buddhist Traditions, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1978.

Hoose, Jayne (ed.), Conscience in World Religions, Leominster: Gracewing, Notre Dane, IL: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999.

Hunt, A.D., Ethics of World Religions, London: Greenhaven, 1991.

Jhingran, S., Aspects of Hindu Morality, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass,1989.

Jordan, Mark D, The Ethics of Sex, Oxford; Malden,M A: Blackwell, 2002.

Little, David and Twiss, Summer B, Comparative Religious Ethics, San Francisco:Harper&Row Publishers, 1978.

Majumdar, R. C., Ancient India, Delhi: Motilal Banersidass, 1964.

Maitra, Susil Kumar, The Ethic of the Hindus, Third Edition, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, 1963.

Manickam, T.M., Dharma According to Manu and Moses, Bangalore: Dharmaram Publications, 1977.

Mekenzie, John, Two Religions. A Comparative Study of some Distinctive Ideas and Ideals in Hinduism and Christianity, London: Lutterworth Press, 1950

Michael, A., Radhakrishnan on Hindu Moral Life and Action, Delhi: Concept Publishing, 1978.

Porter, Jean, Natural and Divine Law: Reclaiming the Tradition of Christian Ethics, Ottawa, O N: Novalis, Grand Rapids M I: Eerdmans, 1999.

Parrinder, Geoffrey, Comparative Religion, London: Sheldon Press, 1977.

Reat, N. Ross and Edmund F. Perry, A World Theology. The Central Spiritual Reality of Humankind, Cambridge etc.:Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Reed, Esther D, The Genesis of Ethics: On the Authority of God as the Origin of Christian Ethics, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 2000.

Rodd, Cyril S., Glimpses of Strange Land: Studies in Old Testament Ethics, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2001.

Scott, Roland W., Social Ethics in Modern Hinduism, Calcutta: Y.M.C.A Publishing,1953.

Singer, Peter, Practical Ethics, Second Edition, Cambridge: University Press, 1998.

Singh, B., Hindu Ethics: An Exposition of the Concept of Good, Atlantic Highlands,N J: Humanities Press,1984.

Srivastav, Rama Shankar, Comparative religion, New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal,1974.

On Dialogical Theology:

Abhishiktananda, Swami, Saccidananda: A Christian Approach to Advaitic Experience, Delhi: ISPCK, 1974.

             “                           , Hindu-Christian Meeting Point: Within the Cave of the Heart, Bombay/Bangalore:The Institute of Indian Culture/CISRS,1969.

Aleaz, K.P., Harmony of Religions. The Relevance of  Swami Vivekananda, Calcutta: Punthi Pustak, 1993.

        “        , The Gospel of Indian Culture, Calcutta: Punthi Pustak, 1994.

        “        , Dimensions of Indian Religion. Study, Experience and Interaction, Calcutta: Punthi Pustak,1995.

         “       , An Indian Jesus from Sankara’s Thought, Calcutta: Punthi Pustak, 1997.

        “        , Theology of Religions. Birmingham Papers and Other Essays, Calcutta: Moumita, 1998.

        “        , Religions in Christian Theology, Kolkata: Punthi Pustak, 2001.

       “        (Comp. and Intro.), From Exclusivism to Inclusivism. The theological Writings of Krishna Mohan Banerjea (1813-1885), Delhi: ISPCK, 1999.

       “                  “                   , A Christian Response to the Hindu Philosophical Systems by Nehemiah Nilakantha Sastri Goreh, Kolkata: Punthi Pustak, 2002.

Appasamy, A.J., Christianity as Bhakti Marga, Madras: CLS, 1928.

Ariarajah, Wesley, The Bible and People of Other Faiths, Geneva: WCC, 1985.

             “              , Hindus and Christians: A Century of Protestant Ecumenical Thought, Grand Rapids: W.B.Eerdmans, 1991.

Braybrooke, Marcus, The Undiscovered Christ..A Review of Recent Developments in the Christian Approach to the Hindu, Bangalore/Madras: CISRS/CLS,1973.

               “               , Together to the Truth: Comparative Study of Some Developments in Hindu and Christian Thought since 1800, Madras/Delhi: CLS/ISPCK, 1971.

Coward, Harold (ed.), Hindu-Christian Dialogue. Perspectives and Encounters, Delhi: Motilal Banersidass ,1993.

Heim, Mark, Salvations, New York: Orbis Books, 1995.

        “          , The Depth of the Riches: A Trinitarian Theology of Religious Ends, Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans, 2001.

Job,G. V.,P. Chenchiah etal, Rethinking Christianity in India, Madras: A.N.Sundarisanam,1938.

Panikkar, Raimundo, The Unknown Christ of Hinduism, Revised and Enlarged Edition, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1981.

Religious Resources for a Just Society. A Hindu-Christian Dialogue, Geneva; WCC,1981.

Robinson, Gnana, Influence of Hinduism on Christianity, Madurai: TTS, 1980.

Samartha,S.J.,(ed.), Living Faiths and Ultimate Goals. A Continuing Dialogue, Geneva: WCC, 1974.

Selvanayagam, Israel(ed.), Biblical Insights on Inter-faith Dialogue. Source Materials for Study and Reflection, Bangalore: BTTBPSA, 1995.

Sharpe, Eric J., Faith Meets Faith. Some Christian Attitude to Hinduism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, London: SCM, 1977.

Staffner, Hans, Jesus Christ and the Hindu Community. Is a Synthesis of Hinduism and Christianity Possible?, Anand: Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1988.

Thangaraj, Thomas, The Crucified Guru: An Experiment in Cross-Cultural Christology, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994.

           “                 ,Relating to People of Other Religions: What Every Christian Needs to Know, Nashville: Abandon Press,1997.

Towards World Community. Resources and Responsibilities for Living together. Memorandum. Multi-Lateral Dialogue.Colombo, Sri Lanka,17-25 April 1974, Geneva: WCC,1974.

Vempeny, Ishanand,.Krsna and Christ. In the Light of Some of the Fundamental Concepts and Themes of the Bhagavad Gita and the New Testment, Anand: Gujarat Sahitya Prakpsh, 1988.

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