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One Christ - Many religions: Toward a Revised Christology.

The latest product from the pen of Stanley Samartha is very welcome. He writes in a style reminiscent of Paul Devanandan, a respected predecessor in the ranks of Indian Christian thinkers. He is aware of Western and Eastern thought, and he could well be even more assertive than he is here about the value and indeed the necessity of theological insights from India and elsewhere being inserted into the consciousness of global Christian theology. There is no need for semi-apology: these insights are needed and they are vital!

The first four chapters are introductory in the sense that they work toward the central theme of Christology. However they are interesting in themselves dealing as they do with religious pluralism, interreligious dialogue, the concern for justice, and religion in the context of a secular state. The fifth chapter on Scripture and scriptures is a bridge toward the core four chapters of the book which center upon the search for a new Christology in our global, interreligious, and plural world. The final chapter deals with mission in a religiously plural world.

Samartha's revised Christology centers upon the themes of the kingdom of God, Jesus' total commitment and trust, Jesus' freedom and fearlessness, his deep compassion for the poor, his obedience to the imperatives of love and, his realistic sense of wisdom, and his willingness to die. In detail there is little that is really new--yet it is the total complex of thought that is "new" in that it gives a distinctive Indian Christian slant to the whole Christological and pluralistic debate. As Samartha puts it, "What was vindicated at Easter was not so much his |Christ's~ status in relation to God as his function as liberator in regard to human beings" (p. 134).

Frank Whaling, Director of Religious Studies Centre, New College, Edinburgh University, Scotland, is a British Methodist minister and worked in India 1962-66.
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Author:Whaling, Frank
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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