Emergence of Hinduism from Christianity?

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by Dream, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Dream

    Dream New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    3,677
    Likes Received:
    1
    A couple of years ago I came across a new book on the internet called The Emergence of Hinduism from Christianity by someone names M.M. Ninan. Not knowing much about Eastern traditions, philosophies or religions I did not know what to make of it. I saved it on my computer and promptly lost it, but I've found it again. I have been skimming it and I would appreciate some feedback from more knowledgable ones as to whether this seems like a feasable idea or what.

    I think the basic idea in the book is that St. Thomas, one of the original twelve apostles visits established Jewish communities in India: Kerala, Taxila and other places (possibly in China) making converts to a gnostic form of Christianity. He also encounters Aryan Vedics, Buddhists, and Jainists. The resulting community of Christians becomes distanced from other Christian communities, embraces ideas from all the above and becomes Hinduism while non-gnostic Christians remain in contact with far away Christian communities and remain Christian in name.

    Since I'm not much knowledgeable about the history, I'd like to hear some objections or get some idea of problems with this idea or if you think it sounds good or have more ideas. OK? Thanks if you have anything at all to say about it.
     
  2. GlorytoGod

    GlorytoGod There is a River

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    943
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think that hinduism is far older than christianity,

    there is some mileage though in the idea that an early apostle established a church in india, there was a TV program about it ages ago, I think the Catholic Church tried to absorb them a whiped out all there written scripture or something ?
     
  3. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hinduism, I believe, existed before Buddha (I mean the one who introduced Buddhism). That Buddha lived several centuries before Jesus. So Hinduism must have been around way before Christianity.
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    43
    Namaste all,

    well.. herein lie some difficult issues.

    indeed.. it was not until very recently that the Sanatana Dharma people started using the term "hindu" for themselves. the term, originally, is a derogatory slur and like the American expression for African-Americans has become co-opted by the people it was originally used to denigrate.

    there is far, far greater likely hood that the Christian paradigm arose from Sanatana Dharma than the other way around given that Sanatana Dharma was being practiced some 4,200 years prior to the arising of the Christian paradigm and most Indian scholars of these matters put its start well before that of Judaism as well.

    nevertheless it is not unusual to see claims like this with the implication being that religion, civilisation, art and all of the rest could not have arisen in India without it being brought from the West.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    96
    The resulting community of Christians becomes distanced from other Christian communities, embraces ideas from all the above and becomes Hinduism while non-gnostic Christians remain in contact with far away Christian communities and remain Christian in name.

    Well I believe it could have been quite possible that some Christians were absorbed say by Hinduism.. There are some apocryphal materials that indicate Saint Thomas was in India.

    See:

    Apostle St. Thomas in India
     
  6. Dream

    Dream New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    3,677
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks everyone for taking the time to provide information. The Sanatana Dharma people? I didn't know about them, although I was aware that the 'Vedas' at least are much older than Jesus. I did not know about the name change to Hindu. It sounds admirable for Sanatana Dharma to make a derogatory name into a badge of honor.

    What Athra said is interesting, too. It suddenly strikes me that if there were Gnostic Christians, their ideas might have allowed them to peacefully be absorbed by non-Christian groups in the area. For example: Perhaps they thought of this as 'Investing their talents' per Jesus parable of talents. Even if that were the case, I still don't know whether the Sanatana Dharma people would have allowed them to join without them completely disavowing their Judaism first. Any ideas about that are welcome as well.

    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  7. TheKhan

    TheKhan All Natural

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    0

    I read somewhere or heard somewhere (so I`m unsure) that the word "Hindu" was invented by Europeans, probably the British during their colonial times. Thus that might be the reason why one could technically argue that Hinduism was from Christianity, but its just the word "Hinduism". What we call Hinduism existed way before Buddhism as stated above, it`d be interesting what the Indians called Hindu in the Indian language, probably such a word for this group of people didn`t exist and the word was a naming of convinience.
     

Share This Page