M. Thomas Thangaraj, 'The History and Teachings of the Hindu Christian Community Commonly Called Nattu Sabai in Tirunelveli', Indian Church History Review 5:1 (1971), 43—68. 48 Hedlund, Indian Instituted Churches, pp. 32—6. Yasuo Furnya, A History of Japanese Theology, p. 35.
Yeo Khiok-Khng, 'The Rise of Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM): Chinese Christianity in the Light of Communist Ideology in New China', Asia Journal of Theology 6:1 (1992), 1—9. For a detailed study of the history of the formation of the Church of South India, see Bengt Sundkler, Church of South India: The Movement Towards Union: 1900—1947 (London: Lutterworth Press, 1954).
Phan, Christianity with an Asian Face, pp. 176—82.
structure, will be participatory and encourage mutuality. The third feature is the dialogical spirit that will pervade the church's relationship with three realities; namely, Asian cultures, Asian religions and Asians themselves. Fourthly, the church in Asia will find a new way of being the 'prophetic sign' emboldened to point the world to the coming reign of God.
To conclude, let me briefly mention some of the implications of the thrust of this essay. First, it is evident that Asian Christian responses to religious pluralism in Asia are complex in their variety. Some of the attempts in the west to see the 'Third World' churches as monolithic and primarily conservative are unfounded. The somewhat alarmist readings of Christianity in the Global South illustrate a failure to recognize the complexity and the variety of Asian Christian responses to religious plurality.52 Asian Christians' struggles at articulating a theology of religions most often revolves around the question of Christian identity. For example, the question of Christian identity in a minority setting has a major impact on the way a theology of religions is articulated. One cannot simply approach other religions with exotic admiration, as is the tendency of most western academic students of Asian religions. Neither can one reduce Asian Christian attitudes to those of a minority complex as such. These theologians and thinkers from Asia bring a rich variety of approaches to the question of identity. The very use of the phrase 'Asian Christian' announces to world Christianity that to be a Christian is to be located in and shaped by one's geography, language, culture and religious landscape. Finally, Asian Christian responses to religious pluralism take their rightful place within the wide spectrum of theologies from all over the world and, in that process, relativize western theological viewpoints and refuse to take them as benchmarks for understanding and articulating the Christian faith in Asia today.
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