Folk Hinduism and Philosophical Hinduism

One of the things I have had to grapple with in my ministry is the difference between folk Hinduism and philosophical Hinduism. In trans-local situations the sort of Hinduism I come across is invariably the more philosophical and pantheistic sort (in this I am including the various streams of Yoda, Vedanta, and derivative stuff likeContinue reading “Folk Hinduism and Philosophical Hinduism”

Reincarnation and all that

In “New Religions as Global Cultures” (1997, 101-102), Irving Hexham and Karla Poewe write: “Within the Yogic tradition, ideas of rebirth are logically related to belief in karma. Traditionally, rebirth is explained in two ways. Hindus believe that when human beings die, their souls pass – transmigrate – into another body. Buddhists, in contrast, denyContinue reading “Reincarnation and all that”

Ganesha and Jesus in transit

Maybe it’s my love of paradox or my Aussie irreverence, but I am drawn to religious art with an iconoclastic twist. Take this one, “Sad Jesus” by fearn. It’s hardly what you would call a devotional piece but it touches me because this very much reflects my life, commuting each days with Hindus, Buddhists andContinue reading “Ganesha and Jesus in transit”

Universalism: Down the Rabbit Hole

Courting univeralism? What are the practical implications of the ‘all paths lead up the same mountain’ view? Here’s an article that brings out a few of them: Hinduism no barrier to job as priest in Church of England By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent A PRIEST with the Church of England who converted to Hinduism hasContinue reading “Universalism: Down the Rabbit Hole”

Religious Kitcsh: Barbie Does Dharma

Secret Spells Barbie – “An ordinary schoolgirl by day, Secret Spells Barbie transforms at night. Open the included book to discover the mysterious compartment holding her secrets. Includes fun, potion-making accessories, including two mixes for making magic potions you can really drink.” Razanne – The “modest” Muslim alternative to Barbie – “At first glance, thisContinue reading “Religious Kitcsh: Barbie Does Dharma”

Autobiography of a Yogi

One book I am really getting my teeth stuck into at the moment is Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. I find that my cultural context in Western Sydney is more and more drawing me into an engagement with Hindu thought, and having read the Bhagavad Gita and Swami Prabhavananda’s commentary on Patanjali’s YogaContinue reading “Autobiography of a Yogi”

McLaren on other religions

In his book, The Church on the Other Side, Brian McLaren writes: “One of the toughest challenges in the church on the other side will be to develop a new way of talking about – and with -other religions.” I would like to kick off this new site by inviting the emergent church to seriouslyContinue reading “McLaren on other religions”