Year of publication
- English (23) (remove)
- Salvation and faith : with special reference to Martin Luther’s and John Calvin’s ideas ; a theological contribution to a general theory of religion (2010)
- The presence of the Holy in the Lilanukarana (2001)
- The people of Braj1 are attracted by the Holy in many ways. But nowhere is its attraction per-ceived as strongly as in the public performances of the lilas of Krisna – the lilanukaranas. Although by their aesthetic constitution these dramatic performances are a mixture of song, theater and dance, they do not belong to the genre of folkloric entertainment, for in their very essence they are revelations of the Holy. Thus in Braj the Holy is not at all considered a nirguna entity concealing itself from the world. On the contrary, it reveals itself plainly and unmistakably. This revelation is fully authentic because in its essence the Holy is saguna, i.e. possessed of form. This, however, further means that the lilanukarana do not present something mundane as sacred, nor do they present a 'substitute religion' – for they offer the experience of the Holy moving among and with the lilanukarana, as their equal, freely and naturally, without fear of touch by the creature. And this unconcern for possible worldly contamination allows the Brajbasis to meet the Holy without fear, and in intimate friendship.
- The privileged religion of Saint Francis of Assisi (1998)
- The popularity of St. Francis (1182/3-1226) in our days is overwhelming. He has become a modern hero - not only of Catholics but also of Protestants, non-Christians and even atheists. Nevertheless, the question may be raised whether the modern portrayals of St. Francis do justice to the historical person. In order to get a more solid answer we will analyze various documents which were ap-proximately known to and approved by St. Francis himself, particularly his Tes-timony, his Song of Brother Sun, the Unapproved Rule, the Approved Rule, the Admonitions, and the Letter to the Faithful Ones I. We will not even use the legendary reports of his disciples. From the very beginning the devotees of St. Francis made of him a typical convert. This biographic mutilation has remained en vogue until today. - In his Testimony he tells his real story in a few brief words: "While I was in sins it appeared to me extremely bitter to look at the lep-ers. And the Lord himself brought me among them and I gave alms to them. When I was leaving them that what appeared bitter to me was to me exchanged for (converted into) sweetness of the soul and the body. And afterwards I stopped for a moment and then I left the world." Therefore, his life can be divided into three periods: 1) the life in 'sin' or the 'world'; 2) the short period of the conversion, of a short stopping and of the leaving the 'world'; and 3) his exis-tence outside the 'world'. ...
- Free love and Bhakti : an inter-religious study on Martin Luther and Shri Krishna Caitanya (1998)
- Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) and Vishvambhara Mishra (1486 - 1533), known as Shri Krishna Caitanya, have been the outstanding representatives of the great west-eastern religious revolution which shattered the hearts of their societies in the 16th century. They were the spiritual revolutionaries of the modern times. The question may very well be raised if and how these two religious reformers on the edge of modern age share theological commonness, even though they lived wide apart and certainly did not know of each other. We will see: Both Martin Luther and Shri Krishna Caitanya have taught the un-conditioned, Free Love viz. Bhakti. Even if they did it in the tradition of the theological context they were born in they produced a new common setting of religion: the destruction of meritoricly bound religion and its substitution by free religion. The worship of God or charity were no more a mean for but the final state of salvation. Their interpretation of this revolutionary religion has lost nothing of its existen-tial meaning, even though having been twisted often enough to indiscernibility or even to the complete opposite - up to the present day. ...
- Buddhism: an atheistic and anti-caste religion? : Modern ideology and historical reality of the ancient Indian Bauddha Dharma (2001)
- The historian has to safeguard the strangeness of the past. Therefore, religio-historical research has to scrutinise the reconstruction of the real history of religions by religious ideologies of the present. Very often religious ideologies fall back to the past in order to get an alleged legitimacy for their actual am-bitions; however, for that purpose they have to model or falsify the past according to their present ideo-logical needs. One of the outstanding examples of such an ideologisation of history of religion is the modern view of Buddhism. Developed by the Western colonialist Indology this ideology portrayed and still is portray-ing Buddhism as an rationalist-atheistic, anti-brahmanical, anti-caste and egalitarian religion - in con-trast to Hinduism which is caricatured as idolatrous, casteistic and brahmanised. The aim of such an ideological interpretation is to demonstrate the alleged Western modernity of Buddhism and the alleged obscurantism of Hinduism. The target of that ideological aggression was the Hinduism. In order to exploit the wealth of India the Western colonialists needed the weakening of the Hindu self-consciousness; therefore they favoured an Indology which produced an not existing Indian Buddhism as an alleged modern alternative to the alleged primitive religion of the 'Hindoos'. Playing the Buddhism against the 'Hindoos' the colonialist attempt to defame the vast majority of the Indian people was very successful. Even Indian religious intellectuals and leaders (i.e. the secularists or the Neo-Buddhists1) are sharing and supporting that colonialist view still today. We want to dispute these asserted positions by empirico-historical reasons. First we will discuss the early Buddhism, than Ashoka's reform program of the dharma and at last the historio-graphical dilemmata of scholars sharing the colonialist ideology of Buddhism. ....
- Unity of Buddhism and Hinduism : in experience and teachings of the Dalai Lama (2005)
- The Dalai Lama, in exile since 1959 in Hindu majority India, has continuously been taking a firm stand on giving importance to an inter-religious dialogue and interaction. He has made it absolutely clear that Buddhism represents just one of the many religious ways open for mankind. Nonetheless, he has always referred to the bond shared between Buddhism and Hinduism as a very special one and has experienced it as a religious tie. Both these religious streams belong to what is known as Bharatiya or Indo-genous Dharma. The Dalai Lama does not restrict his care for nurturing this common bond to a mere academic talk. In fact he has been taking active part in promoting this kind of inter-religious dialogue and has been showing a fiery political commitment as well. He thus took active part in the second World Hindu Congress organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad held in Prayag-Allahabad in the year 1979. According to official reports, the organizers in their welcome speech for the Dalai Lama were frank enough to admit that 2500 years ago, the Kashi Pandits (Kashi also known as Varanasi) had stopped Siddharta Gautama Buddha from entering the Vishwanath temple. It was also mentioned that for all these years, there has never been any letup in the conflict between Sanatani Hindus and Bauddhas, despite the fact that later on Shakya Muni was rewarded the status of avatara by Hindus. The fact that these very Kashi Pandits had invite one of the highest religious authorities of Buddhism - the Dalai Lama- to this congress should be seen as "a positive step towards reconciliation." The Dalai Lama was thus pleasantly surprised to see that the highest rung of the religious body of Hindus publicly acknowledged the divine status of Siddharta Gautama Buddha and recognized the presence of the Dalai Lama as a valuable contribution towards the reconciliation between the two religious streams. ...
- Charity in inter-religious perspective (2001)
- Charity has a long tradition in the Christian religion. From the early beginning there was some organized charity. In the Acts of the Apostles we read about socalled diakonoi being responsible for the needy Christians. During the whole church history there was the rule that 1/3 of the tithe, the decima pars, the religious tax, had to be spend for the poor people of a parish. Of course, there was much misuse of that portion; the tithe became private and the new owners of the tax mostly living far away were not interested in supporting the poor people. Yet, the Christian people organized additional charity. It is very important to see that religious mentality was very helpful for that ...