The Essence of Hindu Doctrine and its Influence on Christianity in America and Europe


This paper addresses the topic of the identity of Hindu religion and its impact on Christianity in the West (i.e. in Europe and USA), which is to be seen, especially through Neo-Hindu movements (that occurred mainly during 1950s–1980s). Thus, features and key terms such as: authority of the Veda, Dharma, moksha, samsāra and karma, the paths to liberation, concept of God, Brahman-ātman, avidyā and māyā and AUM are sketchily presented in the first part of the paper. There are obvious differences between both Hindu schools and Christian faith which regards 1. Ultimate concern: For the Hindu, it is escape from the human condition, whereas for the Christian it is freedom from guilt, sin, and the devil; 2. Human nature: For the Christian it is creaturely and sinful; for the Hindu it is divine; 3. Human problem: It is moral sin for the Christian and intellectual ignorance for the Hindu; 4. Resolution: For the Christian it is a divine act at infinite cost to God; for the Hindu it is human effort, sometimes mixed with grace, without cost to the god. In the second part it is presented the debated problem of Gurus and their movements and Neo-Hindu movements sprung at the second half of 20th century, such as Satya Sai Baba, International Society for Krishna Consciousness and meditation for “transcendental consciousness” (TM). In any case, the Indian offspring demonstrate that we have come to an important moment in the history of religions, one in which new religious landscapes continually emerge like the images of a kaleidoscope and where people will have to learn whether it is possible to share the same planet

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