Comparing Christian Fundamentalism And Hindu Fundamentalism Religion Essay

The original significance of the term “ fundamentalism ” was different, nevertheless it has now acquired a negative intension as it is frequently associated with the violent and destructive looks of the spiritual extremists in this modern-day universe. Therefore, fundamentalism is no longer used to depict conservative Protestant Christians or a peculiar faith and its disciples ; instead it is presently used to depict any stiff attitude that unleashes aggressive, violent, and destructive looks. It has become “ a codification word for ‘narrow, ‘bigoted, ‘ ‘anti-intellectual, ‘ ‘lacking learned civilization ‘ and ‘anti-Semitic, ‘ ”[ 3 ]and “ a equivalent word for obscurantism. ”[ 4 ]Fundamentalism so is a phenomenon in the pluralistic universe we live in and it is a combined force of “ attitude ” and “ look ” with a spiritual influence: the “ attitude ” that stings and look that is violent and destructive in any signifier. Using this definition, this paper will compare the Hindu and the Christian fundamentalism: history, root causes, some expressions/impacts, and divinity found among the disciples. Finally, the paper will be concluded with a missiological review and a final note.

Points of Comparison

Before come ining into a comparing of the two spiritual fundamentalism, I want to emphasize one time once more on the working definition of this paper by raising a inquiry, “ what is fundamentalism, and what is non? ” Fundamentalism harmonizing to me is neither a mere defence of one ‘s ain religion nor retaining the basicss of one ‘s religion. It is both the “ lava, ” and the “ eruption ” of that lava. The lava beneath the land erupts through the vent upseting the environing environment. This volcanic eruption is fundamentalism. In other words, fundamentalism in my sentiment is the negative attitude towards others, judging others by the criterions of one ‘s ain spiritual dogmas climaxing in force and coercion. Therefore, in this paper as I discuss about Hindu and Christian fundamentalism, I shall non intend to state that all Christians or all Hindus are fundamentalists.

The term “ fundamentalism ” is a modern term and traveling back every bit early as the fourth century speaking about fundamentalism contradicts Francis Glasson ‘s sentiment that it is incorrect to state, “ Christian Church was fundamentalist until the rise of scriptural surveies of the past 100 yearsaˆ¦ . ”[ 5 ]However, I shall show to you the presence of Christian fundamentalism back so on the footing of the working definition of this paper. Therefore, every bit far as Christian fundamentalism is concerned, I will take the freedom to research the Greco-Roman universe and America in footings of topographic point and the early portion of the first millenary boulder clay day of the month in footings of clip. However, in order to discourse on the Hindu fundamentalism, I shall restrict within the Indian context. Having this elucidation we shall now discourse the history of both the fundamentalism in brief.


Christian fundamentalism began in the “ United States after the war of 1914-18 based on rigorous attachment to traditional Orthodox tenetsaˆ¦held to be cardinal to the Christian religion: opposed to liberalism and modernism. ”[ 6 ]It is said that by the 1940s and 1950s fundamentalism was divided into several cantonments: trusters who emphasized on “ Christian civilisation, ” people who held “ dispensation belief, ” and others.[ 7 ]On the other manus, “ Hindu fundamentalism had its beginning in 1870s through 1920s ”[ 8 ]yet which in my sentiment reached its tallness in the fortiess. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar the innovator of specifying and propagating “ Hindutva ” who wrote Hindutva with heavy mentions to the Hindu sacred books[ 9 ]and published in 1942 is responsible for the development and growing of Hindu fundamentalism. Since so Hindutva takes the Centre phase when Hindu fundamentalism is discussed. The procedure might hold been at that place, nevertheless both the Hindu and Christian fundamentalism in comparing reached the flood tide in the first half of the twentieth century which is still in continuance. We shall now discourse about the sources/roots of fundamentalism.

Beginning or Root

“ Fear ” of the emerging and environing forces and “ bitterness ” are the root causes of fundamentalism. As per the observation of the history mentioned above, the root causes of Christian fundamentalism were by and large the forces of liberalism and modernism that questioned the Christian dogmas. On the other manus, the root causes of Hindu fundamentalism are: ( 1 ) The past atrociousnesss unleashed by overzealous Muslims, ( 2 ) the rapid growing of the Muslim population [ around 45 crores ] in the Indian sub-continent, ( 3 ) ill will of the Muslims against idolaters/non-Muslims, ( 4 ) the intimacy of Islamic religion [ claim to be perfect ] ( 5 ) the rejection of all modern entities such as province, state, regulation of jurisprudence and citizenship, and ( 6 ) the strength of Muslim states [ more than 50 ] are some of the menaces that cause Hindu fundamentalism.[ 10 ]In the work of Arun Shourie ‘s critic J. Kuruvachira, we see the general perceptual experience of the Hindus. The premise is that all Christian educational establishments, societal services, infirmaries, assisting the hapless are come-ons to change over Indians.[ 11 ]As a consequence of this sort of premise, I believe that the fright and hatred develop in the head of the fundamentalists and therefore stirs them to take a step to contend against the menaces. In this connexion, fright of viing forces and choler [ due to incorrect premises sometimes ] are the root causes of both the Christian and Hindu fundamentalism.

Whether we like it or non, spiritual fundamentalism has its footing in the Scriptures. Nithin Sridhar states that Christian fundamentalism is based on “ Genesis 12:1-3, in which Abraham is blessed so that through him and his posterities, all the peoples of the universe would be blessed ” and besides God ‘s wish to idolize him in all the Earth which is expressed in the Bible.[ 12 ]Sridhar is true, for it is go oning, and likewise the Hindus base on Vedas to specify India ‘s existent heritage, the Ramayana to discourse Hindu beliefs and patterns and to warrant an action like “ the physical destruction of a mosque-the Babri Masjid. ”[ 13 ]In this sense it is true to province that the Bibles are besides the root causes of fundamentalisms. Then how does fundamentalism is expressed?

Expression and Impact

Globally, everyplace, every state has become pluralistic in footings of races and faiths. Therefore, fundamentalism whether it is of Hindus ‘ or Christians ‘ has usually negative impacts upon the society for it frequently expresses itself in force: written, verbal and physical [ that hurt physical, religious, psychological, and emotional facets of the victims ] .

For case, a statement like, “ a Hindu whose blood does non boil has H2O in his veinsaˆ¦youth lived in vain ”[ 14 ]is an look of the negative attitude towards others and therefore it appeal to the persons who portions one ‘s religion and political orientation to move against others who do non portion the same. Christian religion Today, May 2006 reported that a outstanding Hindu activist was eager to pay $ 26,000 “ for the archbishop ‘s ‘head on a home base ‘ ”[ 15 ]in Rajasthan. “ On January 1937 a Professor of Philosophy from Poland, krzenski, came to Gandhiji. Krzenski told Gandhiji that Catholicism was the lone true faith, ”[ 16 ]recounts Arun Shourie. Had Krzenski entered into direct claim without sing the sentiment of Gandhi, Krzenski ‘s claim was decidedly aching to Gandhi. The looks cited above are from the Hindus and a Christian, and each look is violent and aching in its ain manner. Thoughtless words that are expressed are aching and more ironically it does non halt at that place, it leads towards struggle and force among the disciples of different religions/ideologies. Keeping this in head we shall now look at some of the communal public violences and inharmoniousness that occurred in our society.

Vaibhav Purandare ‘s history tells us that the Shiv Sena “ one of the most hawkish and controvisial political outfits of India ”[ 17 ]was responsible for the Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad coincident clang between the Hindus and the Muslims on the juncture of Shivaji Jayanti. The clang is said to hold begun around 7:00p.m. on 7th May 1970 and lasted till 11th May claiming more than 90 lives, 300 injured, 100 houses burned, 5,000 power looms damaged and at least 5,000 people homeless.[ 18 ]The force exerted upon the Christians minority of Orissa particularly in Kandhamal territory by the Hindu extremists is another illustration of fundamentalism. It is said that the force continued since December 24 ( 2007 ) till 2nd January ( 2008 ) killing 9 people, about 90 Churchs and 600 houses burned, and 1000s displaced.[ 19 ]In the similar manner, looking back every bit early as the fourth Century, fundamentalist nature of Christians ( though the term was non yet coined ) is found in the Greco-Roman universe, peculiarly during Augustine and Gregory the Great. David Bosch reflects that Christian attitude towards the people of other religions was really sarcastic. Non-believers were understood as lost heathens, hence transition to the Catholic Church was forced. Coercive steps were promoted, the provincials were burdened with rent, free work forces were jailed and slaves were disciplined by crushing and anguish[ 20 ]warranting the actions in the name of supplying the persons “ the chance to fly ageless damnationaˆ¦for the non-believers ‘ good. ”[ 21 ]The devastations, violent deaths and anguish are the commonalty of both the Hindu and Christian fundamentalism.

The Crusades which took topographic point during the ten percent, eleventh, and twelve centuries in the history of Christendom is another illustration of negative look. It is said that those wars were undertaken “ for presenting the Holy Land from the Mahommedansaˆ¦ ”[ 22 ]The premier concern of the Crusades was to be “ the cloaca of Christendom and run out all the strifes out of it. ”[ 23 ]This really statement is clear plenty that the “ campaigns ” which were under taken by Christians were really fundamentalist in nature. Therefore, the term “ campaign ” comes really close to the term “ Hindutva ” in its significance and influence. Today, Hindutva stands as a criterion to mensurate the cogency of being Hinduness and to repossess the Hindu apostates, merely as the campaigns stood as the cloaca of Christendom and to run out all the strifes out of it.

So far we have discussed and compared the modern look of Hindu fundamentalism with the pre-modern Christian fundamentalism. Now, we shall turn to the modern look of Christian fundamentalism every bit good. George M. Marsden names some of the Christian fundamentalists who smartly campaigned against the forces that questioned the Christian religion. It is said that William Jennings Bryan, Billy Sunday, William B. Riley of Minneapolis, and Frank Norris of Texas “ laced their messages with political dictums, having nationalism and prohibition and assailing Marxism, socialism, theory of evolution and Catholicism. ”[ 24 ]It is besides said that by the name Eric Rudolph is responsible for bombing at the Olympics and the blast in Atlanta at abortion clinic. ”[ 25 ]The persons featured above are Christian fundamentalists in my sentiment, because they intertwined the political relations, societal, and the faith to contend against other forces which they saw as enemies of Christianity. This look resembles the Hindu fundamentalists who exert force against the Christians minority in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh maintaining them under changeless menaces and ill will such as closing down churches or driving them from their places, one among the victims is Pastor Thanga Tryte who lost his place and his topographic point of worship in the month of May, 2010.[ 26 ]Truly fear, hatred, and force are the byproduct of Fundamentalism. How do the fundamentalists understand God?


Reading through the book, The Essence of Hinduism, the Vedas-revealed-scripture, which is considered as “ the most reliable ”[ 27 ]Bible of the Hindus does non hold any direct instruction about human to human and God to human relationship. The indispensable subjects of the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament such as love for “ neighbours, ” attention for the “ orphans, ” “ widows ” and “ humbleness before adult male and God ” are losing in the Vedas. The cardinal subject of the Vedas appears to me is the individual missive “ I ” [ adult male ] which is equated with God taking to the belief that every adult male is godly and “ the supreme cognition is Brahman [ God ] . ”[ 28 ]Therefore, the divinity of the Hindus is adult male centered which is in contrast to Christians ‘ divinity which is God centered, that human being is, but the maestro piece of His creative activity ( Gen. 1: 26-27 ) .

Amartya Sen gives an history on the great heroic poem of Mahabharata, a war between two ground forcess, the Kauravas and the Pandavas. In this heroic poem, Arjuna the unbeatable warrior who belongs to the Pandavas, the royal household doubts the justification of war anticipating the effects. However, Khrishna the Godhead insists Arjuna to transport out his responsibility irrespective of the effects.[ 29 ]Thomas on the other manus provinces that Christian fundamentalists ‘ belief in the Christian triumphalism mandated in the Gospels leads to the apprehension that “ Christians are obliged to interpret this vision into political world through the ballot box and by act uponing the political docket of their authoritiess. ”[ 30 ]These two informations reveal to us that the divinity plays an of import function in determining the fundamentalists ‘ divinity. The apprehension of one ‘s God shapes one ‘s action and relation. On one manus, Hindus see Christians as enemies [ Kaurvas ] to be fought and disciplined, on the other manus Christians see Hindus as prisoners of wickedness who need release. We shall now come in into reflecting Christian mission in India.

Missiological review

Harmonizing to the U. S. Central for Mission study 2000, the per centum of Hindu population is 13.4 % and the Christian population covers 33 % of the universe ‘s entire population.[ 31 ]The present per centum that is harmonizing to the 2000 record is said to hold decreased from 34 % of Christians harmonizing to the record of 1900.[ 32 ]Turning to the Indian context, it is said that more than 80 per centum of India ‘s about one billion people are Hindus, while merely 2.5 per centum are Christians.[ 33 ]Sing the Christian per centum and the noise that our Christian missions make, we see the instability in between the two and that make us asked ourselves, why and what is the job? There must be something incorrect with the Christian missions!

If there has been something incorrect, is it the common missions ‘ dockets that continue such as the doomed psyche, church planting, and the three self-formulas [ with good purpose ] ?[ 34 ]Or was it the failure to larn and go acquainted with the linguistic communication and civilization that led Christian missionaries to be identified by others as encroachers?[ 35 ]Is it because the innovator Missionaries had ventured out as civilization villains instead than civilization heroes?[ 36 ]Is it the “ noncritical attachment to the Church philosophies, ” its infliction on others[ 37 ]and portraying Christianity as spiritual imperialism?[ 38 ]These are the few inquiries among many that come into my head as I reflect on the phenomenon of fundamentalism. Now to reply these inquiries I would go forth the floor unfastened as I know of my restriction. However, let me to state that we all need today to look into our unity as we carry the load of sharing: the love of God by witnessing Jesus the love incarnated who lived, died and resurrected for the interest of the whole creative activity. While witnessing Jesus, it is of import to acknowledge that the way given by the Bible, and the fundamentalists ‘ way can be contradictory.[ 39 ]It is of import to acknowledge because we may be seen by the looker-ons as fundamentalists when we are non cognizant of it, and it is besides of import because God gives different way to follow at different point of clip, it was told, “ you shall love your neighbour ” [ Lev. 19: 18 ] , but now it is said, “ Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you ” [ Matt. 5: 43-44 ] . “ Where there are faiths there are transition besides ”[ 40 ]hence, I suggest that peculiarly the construct of change overing the lost be avoided. However, we should concentrate on witnessing Christ through ways and agencies that do non pique our neighbours. “ It is impossible to close the Jesus of commiseration, mending, service, and human interestaˆ¦.The higher morality of salvation does non annul moral consistence ”[ 41 ]for this ground I reflect on being mild and sober in our attack to witnessing Christ instead than violent attack of mission. May our look of religion be “ goaded ‘by the love of God and understand that God does non seek to suppress instead He seeks to bless.[ 42 ]Mission certainly is to convey our joy and love for Jesus, non to bring down hate, force and agony.


As Jan A.B. Jongeneel introduces three constructs of missiology: “ the philosophical, the scientific and the theological, ”[ 43 ]as a pupil of missiology, I take these three constructs earnestly in my quest to understand the phenomenon of fundamentalism. Trying to come to my decision, fundamentalism as it is understood today consequences [ by and large ] due to miss of positive attitude towards life [ doctrine ] , failure to cipher effects ( Science ) and misunderstanding of God [ divinity ] .

Therefore, our mission at this occasion should include: advancing the value of life, assisting people to be realistic and aware of cause and consequence, and advancing relevant and proper divinity. These three dimensions can be carried out through media, formal and insouciant interaction [ duologue ] and particularly through the spiritual and non spiritual establishments such as Churches, temples, mosques, schools or colleges, etc by prophesying and learning with unity of our bosom.