Points Of Contact And The Christian Use Of Hindu Concepts

S. K. Datta (1878-1942) and S. K. Rudra (1861-1925) in the North, and K. T. Paul (1876-1931) and V. S. Azariah (1874-1945) in the South, in general terms, sharing some of the ideas of the missionary theologians mentioned above, presented Christ as a window to God and vision for humanity, as well as a source of inspiration to raise the moral consciousness of Indians.18 But they were divided on the question of the value and theological validity of the institutionalized church in India. The last two made a great contribution to the union movement of the Church of South India - the first united church of its kind - formed in 1947, the year of Indian independence. They viewed the church union as a mark of achieving national selfhood and a starting point to make the church truly Indian. Subsequently, the Church of North India was formed in 1970 and its formation and other developments in the area of church union were not unconnected with independent commitment to mission and fresh theological reflection in the Indian context.

AiyaduraiJesudasen Appasamy (1891-1975), Vengal Chakkarai (1880-1958) and Pandipeddi Chenchiah (1886-1959) would best represent those who identified points of contact for the Christian message in the Hindu religious traditions. Appasamy, a scholar, bishop and a close friend of Sundar Singh, was impressed by the original, indigenous contributions of some vernacular poets. Their outpouring of devotion to Christ, appropriating ideas of their original Hindu traditions, testified to Appasamy's interpretation of Christianity as bhakti marga (the way of devotion) and clarification of the meaning of moksha (liberation).19 Instead of interpreting Jesus' sayings, such as 'I and my Father are one', as identical with the Upanishadic formula 'Thou art That' on which the non-dualist Vedanta was built, he saw them in the light of the 'qualified non-dualism'

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