serve to exemplify influential Christian leaders of the late nineteenth century.
Maulvi Imad-ud-din, from the time ofhis conversion, followed by his ordination as a clergyman and evangelist, sought to convince members of his prestigious (ashraf) class within the Muslim community that his new faith rested upon truths that could bring any person closer to God. In contrast to 'Hindu convert theology', the writings in 'Muslim Christian theology' by Imad ud-din provided Christians with fresh understandings ofreligious traditions in India. This was especially so since 'Imad-ud-din was so prolific.
Pandita Ramabai Saraswati, despite her enormous grasp of Sanskrit lore, was outraged at the treatment of women. Disillusioned by the inconsistencies of the Brahmo Samaj while in Calcutta, she happened upon Luke's Gospel in Assam and became fascinated. Nehemiah Goreh helped to resolve some ofher doubts. But, in England, she refused the confining discipline of Anglo-Catholic sisters. Feted in America by high-society women, her work on The high-caste Hindu woman (1887) made her world-famous. Returning to India in 1889, she devoted the rest of her life to rescuing 'child' widows. At her famous Mukti Mission, opened at Kedgaon in 1898, her spiritual quests continued, until an Indian form of 'Holy Spirit' revival broke out in 1905. Turning from society elites and rationalist theologies, her restless search for freedom (mukti) drove her into evangelicalism and towards 'holiness'. Her last days were devoted to a new translation of the Marathi Bible.
Narayan VamanTilak, a celebrated Brahman poet and thinker, read the Bible and was converted. But he insisted on being baptised by an Indian and not by a foreigner. His life-long quest orparampara was to reconcile his cultural heritage with commitment to Christ. Dedicated to the emancipation of the oppressed and marginalised, especially non-Brahmans, untouchables and women, he became editor of Dnyanodaya, an eight-page Marathi weekly operated by the American Marathi Mission. Tilak's enormous corpus of writings included some 700 hymns, many of which are still sung. He urged Indian Christians to shed dependency upon the west and eradicate denominational divisions. During his last years, he became a mendicant bhakta sannyasi - giving up all connections except his family and home.
'Sadhu' Sundar Singh was a Sikh-Christian convert whose vision of Christ in 1904 changed his life. He never accepted European modes of thought, explaining: 'Indians need the Water of Life, but not the European cup.' He became a wandering mendicant or 'Christian sadhu', devoting himself to remote hill peoples, adopting an ascetic and ecstatic or bhakti fervour, and shunning the stuffy preaching of'missionary churches'.
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