Trinity and Hinduism

Book chapter


Clooney, Francis Xavier. (2011) Trinity and Hinduism. In In P. C. Phan (Ed.). The Cambridge Companion to the Trinity pp. 309 - 324 Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521877398.018
AuthorsClooney, Francis Xavier
EditorsP. C. Phan
Abstract

This chapter shares the recognition presupposed in this volume of the Trinity's place at the core of Christian reflection on a very wide range of topics of theological and spiritual import. It is no surprise that Christians consider world religions, in general and also in their particular forms, in light of the reality and theology of Trinity, and we can expect that trinitarian theology will inform how we construct Christian theology, even in its interreligious form. What is true in general remains pertinent in particular cases, among which Hindu traditions (henceforth “Hinduism”) are a particularly interesting case. Given the specific nature of the Hindu–Christian relationship – long and varied, surprising in its instances of common ground, yet far less foundational or developed than Christian relations with Judaism and Islam – reflection on the Trinity in relation to Hinduism enables us to see the possibilities and drawbacks of using a trinitarian hermeneutic in encounter with a tradition so interestingly like yet unlike the Christian. In this brief chapter, I explore some older Christian uses of trinitarian imagery in understanding and judging Hinduism, Hindu reactions to and appropriations of the Trinity, the contemporary use of trinitarian theology with particular reference to Hinduism, and the larger problem of the reality and theology of Trinity in Hinduism. Given the breadth of possibilities, I limit my reflections to topics that highlight the trinitarian dimension, thus forgoing topics such as creation, incarnation, and inspiration that in other contexts would naturally be considered from a trinitarian perspective.

Page range309 - 324
Year2011
Book titleThe Cambridge Companion to the Trinity
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
ISBN9780521877398
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521877398.018
Web address (URL)http://ezproxy.acu.edu.au/login?url=http://universitypublishingonline.org/cambridge/companions/ebook.jsf?bid=CBO9780511975875
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