Samartha, a great proponent and expositor of inter-religious dialogue, was influenced by P. D. Devanandan, who was a pioneer in inter-religious dialogue in India.13 Wesley Ariarajah, a Sri Lankan theologian who succeeded Samartha as the Director of the sub-unit on Dialogue within the World Council of Churches, argues and promotes this view of the other in many of his writings.14 Many of the seminaries in Asia have an active programme of inter-religious dialogue within their curricular landscape.
What I have outlined so far is an illustrative list of the various models of encounter between Christians and people of other religious traditions in Asia. This list is in no way comprehensive or exhaustive. It does, however, exemplify the variety of ways in which Asian Christians view their relationship with people of other religions. Our question now is: What are the theological themes and questions that emerge out of these encounters? In attempting to answer this question, one is again aware of the immensity of such a task. Therefore, I have chosen to highlight only four of the theological themes that arise out of Asian Christians' response to religious plurality in Asia.
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