Doon Theological Journal is abstracted in Religious & Theological Abstracts

Doon Theological Journal 1.2 (2004)

Ecclesiastical and ascetic fasting: an important difference in the history of the church - William Isley

Isley argues that the ecclesiastical fasts maintained and practised in some church traditions according to the ecclesiastical calendar, unlike ascetic fasts, continue the New Testament understanding of fasting. He says, “The ecclesiastical fasts preserve Jesus’ teaching better than does the fasting of Christian ascetics.” This is perhaps an eye-opener to those belonging to the free, independent and charismatic church traditions where ascetic fasting still holds sway in asserting purity, holiness and is understood as a means to gain God’s favour.

Ecumenism, Exclusivism, and National Church: Approaches in the Presbyterian Churches of India to    the Concept of Ecumenism - Matthew Ebenezer

This article examines historically and critically the three approaches in the Presbyterian churches of India to the concept of ecumenism. The paper unravels the neglected history of the Presbyterian churches and the sacrificial contributions of these churches toward the church union in India. Ebenezer examines the issue of identity of the Presbyterian churches and as an insider laments over the losses incurred by the Presbyterian churches over union. He thinks that ecumenism was suicidal to the Presbyterian churches in matters relating to their identity.

The Revised Christology of Stanley J. Samartha: A Critique – E. V. Kuriakose

This is a critical reading of eminent Indian Christian theologian, Stanley Samartha, from an evangelical, missiological and theological perspective. The author finds that Samartha proposes a revision of the historic Christology to install Jesus of Nazareth into his pluralistic framework, which has resulted in a reductionism in his interpretation of the Scripture. In Kuriakose’s view, Samartha’s theo-centric Christology is a centreless Christology, for it is fastened to an indefinable, abstract ‘Mystery,’ which is a Christology without any foothold. He concludes that the revised Christology of Samartha, which aims at bringing religious harmony in society, is neither faithful to the biblical revelation nor to the historic understanding of Jesus Christ.

Cultural Nationalism and its Challenges to the Church and its Mission in India - C. V. Mathew

This article on “Cultural Nationalism” explores the origin of Hindu cultural nationalism in India, which, in his view, is an unfortunate aftermath of the British Raj and Indian nationalism. Mathew thinks that cultural nationalism, as it is promoted by the Sangh Parivar, is bent on diluting the cultural identity of Christians, their theology and traditions. Therefore, he challenges the Indian Christians to assert a space where they could be both authentic disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ (‘World Christians’) and at the same time patriotic citizens (‘national Christians’) of India.

Theological Education in India Today: Training for a Relevant Ministry – K. J. Kuriakose

This paper explores the current state and relevance of theological education in India. It is an appraisal of theological training with a view to challenge the existing ministerial training. He thinks that theological education in India still depends on western forms of training. The paper sheds light on other hindrances like dearth of good libraries, practically experienced faculty, dependence on obsolete curriculum and methods of learning and exclusion of laity from training. According to the author, for a relevant ministerial training there should be sufficient involvement of the whole people of God in training and change in the curriculum.

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