Thursday, 25 April 2013

"Despoiling the Egyptians"

The first great inculturation of Christianity was into the Graeco-Roman world.
The basic transculturality of Christianity. A translation of the Koran, for example, is not the Koran. The Koran is the Koran only in the original language.
The call to a second great inculturation (by John Paul II in Fides et Ratio) - which is not to say that this begins with this call!
The caveats: the second inculturation will not and should not take place by abandoning the first great inculturation. The permanently valid achievements of the latter should be transposed into the new inculturation.
The great question is, how?
We find a model in Aquinas: wisdom and discernment, not without controversy (the Franciscan bishop wanted to condemn him posthumously).
Lonergan: objectivity as fruit of authentic subjectivity, where authentic subjectivity involves intellectual, moral and religious conversion.
The core problem here: judgment and truth. Is everything fine? will all things be okay? Can just any interpretation do? Or is there a limit, a boundary?
Gadamer has a spontaneous criterion of truth.
Perhaps also others like Ricoeur.
Lonergan offers an explicit, methodical criterion of truth, which, in Method in Theology, is found in the functional specialty dialectic.
In our Indian context: we cannot reject in principle the Brahminic contribution. See Newman's advice to Despoil the Egyptians. It is time to retrieve the great contributions of the past. (De Smet says somewhere that it is time. Search for the bibliography of Indian Christian Theology in an early issue of Indian Theological Studies, I think.)
Study the Calcutta School of Indology. It is the before of De Smet. Study also the after of De Smet.
See also my blog ICW.