Posts Tagged ‘Hinduism’

H-Scale (for Hinduism)

January 30, 2011

Most of the time the C-scale is used for Muslims only. Therefore a Hindu scholar, H.L. Richard, created the H-scale. Here is a reposting of his article in EMQ.

Note the big difference that the C-scale has 6 iterations while the H-scale has 7.  Thus while the C-scale and H-scale have cross0ver and may be used to describe either major religion.  The scale measures slightly different.

Read more of H.L. Richard’s work from the International Journal of Frontier Missiology here.

Evangelical Missions Quarterly, 40(3), July 2004, pp. 316-20


Christianity in India

January 14, 2009

*NOTE: I am not the expert in this, however my opinions have been formed by those experts. If you would like me to have a question answered, please post it in the comments.

It seems like the so called caste system is eroding (if it ever existed). The way most Westerners are described caste (and Hinduism in general) is just academic and does not match with the reality on the ground.

More than caste or the general class categories (Brahman, non-Brahman, Dalits), Jātis is what matters in India. Jātis means “birth” or the community you’ve been birthed into. There are hundreds of Jātis and people can range in their Jāti from poor to rich, urban to rural. More than caste Jāti is identity. In America our identity question is either “What do you do?” OR “Where did you graduate from?” In India it is “What is your Jāti?”

So when Hindus become Christian they often add the Christian label to their Jāti and become “Christian-Jāti.” The Christian label is now a modifier and separates one from their Jāti.

Well what do missionaries (& national Hindu background believers) do with caste?  The dual identity doesn’t usually work.  So the perceived solution is you have to get rid of the Jāti, since caste breaks up the church in India.  So now you have Hindu background believers leaving their communities and spheres of influence to join the church and become “Christian.”  What is really happening is their idenity as Christian becomes its own Jāti.  That cannot work.

Those I agree with have proposed instead of dropping the Jāti of their identity, dropping the Christian label out of the identity.  Instead of calling oneself Christian, they now call themselves by the same birth identity.  They are a [blank] who happens to be a follower of Christ.  This keeps all the networks in tact and causes no identity crisis for the new believer.

What do you think?  Do you disagree, should caste of all kind be eliminated from the Christian sphere in India?  How would you handle the situation if you were a missionary on the ground in India?