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Footnotes and references for

Dialogue with ISKCON:
A Roman Catholic Perspective


Part One & Part Two

  1. World Religious Statistics", 1994 Britannica Book of the Year (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994), p.271. Barrett distinguishes between "new religionists" and "other religionists", the former including "followers of Asian twentieth-century New Religions, New Religious Movements, radical new crisis religions, and non-Christian syncretistic mass religions, all founded since 1800 and mostly since 1945", the latter comprising "70 minor world religions and a large number of spiritist religions, New Age religions, quasi religions, pseudo religions, para-religions, religious or mystic systems, religious and semi-religious brotherhoods of numerous varieties".

  2. The reflections on the topic of this paper are restricted to the main branch of the Hare Krishna Movement, namely, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which is the largest and most influential expression of Krishna Consciousness in the West. It must be noted, however, that other Hare Krishna groups, such as New Vrindaban, carried on, for a while at least, a programme of dialogue with other religions, especially Christianity. Confer Joel Bjorling, "The Ecumenical Dialogue of Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada", Hindu-Christian Studies Bulletin 3 (1990): p.49ff.

  3. J. Stillson Judah, Hare Krishna and the Counterculture (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1974); E. Burke Rochford, Hare Krishna in America (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1985); and Larry D. Shinn, The Dark Lord: Cult Images and the Hare Krishnas in America (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987).

  4. See, for example, John Y. Fenton, "Hinduism", The Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience: Study of Traditions and Movements, ed. Charles H. Lippy and Peter W. Williams (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992), vol.2, pp.683-98; and Mark Juergensmeyer, "Hinduism in America", Abingdon Dictionary of Living Religions, ed. Robert Crim et al. (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1981), pp.318-21.

  5. Hare Krishna and the Counterculture , p.18.

  6. For ISKCON's interpretation of the Gita see Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita As It Is (Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1983). See also Robert D. Baird, "Swami Bhaktivedanta and the Bhagavad-gita 'As It Is'", Modern Hindu Interpreters of the Bhagavad-gita, ed. Robert N. Minor (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986), pp.200-221.

  7. Flood, Gavin, "Hinduism, Vaishnavism, and ISKCON: Authentic Traditions or Scholarly Constructions", ISKCON Communications Journal 3.2 (1995): p.13. Whether and to what extent the legitimacy of Western devotees is recognised by Hindus is discussed at some length by Charles R. Brooks in his work, The Hare Krishnas in India (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989).

  8. See, for example, Neo-Hindu Views of Christianity, ed. Arvind Sharma (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1988); Mariasusai Dhavamony, "Hindu Theology of Religions", Theology Digest 30 (1982): pp.237-240; and Anantanand Rambachan, "Religious Pluralism: A Hindu Perspective", Current Dialogue, No.17 (December 1989): pp.25-27.

  9. "The Hindu Models of Interreligious Dialogue", Journal of Ecumenical Studies 23 (1986): pp.239-250.

  10. For a broad picture of the Hindu-Christian dialogue see Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Perspectives and Encounters, ed. Harold Coward (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989).

  11. "'Dharma' and 'Tolerance' in Krishna Consciousness", Proceedings of the 1982 Southwest Conference on Asian Studies, pp.82-88.

  12. "Is Dialogue with ISKCON Possible?" Jeevadhara 20 (1990): pp.406-11.

  13. Ibid., p.409.

  14. "The Call of the Lotus-Eyed Lord: The Fate of Krishna Consciousness in the West", When Prophets Fail, ed. Timothy Miller (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), p.160.

  15. Ibid.

  16. "Krishna and Christ: ISKCON's Encounter with Christianity in America", Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Perspectives and Encounters, pp.148-55.

  17. For Prabhupada's views on this matter confer "Christ and Krsna Consciousness from the Teachings of his Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada", compiled by Mathuresa das, Back to Godhead 26.6 (November/December 1991): pp.9-11.

  18. "Krishna and Christ: ISKCON's Encounter with Christianity in America", p.156.

  19. "The Catholic Church and the Hare Krishna Movement: An Invitation to Dialogue", ISKCON Review, 2 (1986): pp.1-63.

  20. Ibid., p.2.

  21. Ibid., pp.14-5.

  22. The similarities between Christian and Hindu forms of monastic life have been discussed also in Catholic literature. See, for instance, M. Dhavamony, "Monasticism: Hindu and Christian" Bulletin: Secretariatus pro non-Christianis 13, no.37 (1978): pp.40-53, where the author outlines the convergences between them and draws attention to some major differences.

  23. "The Catholic Church and the Hare Krishna Movement: An Invitation to Dialogue", pp.39-48.

  24. Ibid., pp.48-9.

  25. "Religion and Religions", ISKCON Communications Journal Issue 1 (1993): pp.1-9.

  26. "A League of Devotees: My Search for Universal Religion", ISKCON Communications Journal, Issue 2 (1993): pp.1.

  27. Ibid., p.4.

  28. See, for example, Shaunaka Rishi das, "Interfaith Dialogue and Contemporary Vaishnavism", paper presented at the Interfaith Conference, "Religion, the Mark of Humanity", held in Berlin, Germany, November 19, 1993.

  29. For an account of the reform movement within ISKCON and the changes made in the Governing Board Commission see Stephen Gelberg, "The Call of the Lotus-Eyed Lord: The Fate of Krishna Consciousness in the West", pp.149-64.

  30. See Larry Shinn, "The Maturation of the Hare Krishnas in America", ISKCON Communications Journal, No.3 (January/June 1994): pp.25-36. For a Hare Krishna perspective on reform within the movement, cf. Ravindra Svarupa das "Cleaning House and Cleaning Hearts: Reform and Renewal in ISKCON, Part 1", ISKCON Communications Journal, No.3 (January/June 1994): pp.43-52; and "Cleaning House and Cleaning Hearts: Reform and Renewal in ISKCON, Part 2", ISKCON Communications Journal, No.4 (July/December 1994): pp.25-33.

  31. See Julius Lipner, "ISKCON at the Crossroads?", ISKCON Communications Journal No.3 (January/June 1994): pp.22-4. Here Lipner suggests that the future of ISKCON is not very promising unless the devotees tackle two major problems in their organisation, namely (1) the status and role of the female devotees, and (2) the training of their children. Confer also Kim Knott, "The Debate about Women in the Hare Krishna Movement", ISKCON Communications Journal 3.2 (1995): pp.33-49.

  32. I am grateful to Shaunaka Rishi das, the ISKCON member and editor of ISKCON Communications Journal, who drew up this first draft, for providing me with a copy. This draft has received initial approval and a formal document is in the process of being worked out to be presented to the Governing Board Commission in March 1997. One might also consult Shaunaka's presentation at the Interfaith Conference, "Religion: The Mark of Humanity", held in Berlin in 1993, where he lists some guidelines for dialogue that are compatible with Shri Chaitanya's principles.

  33. See, for example, Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast: the Catholic Church and the Last Days (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1994).

  34. A typical example is K. E. Job, "The Ball and the Cross", Catholic World 144 (January 1937): pp.476-80.

  35. Ecclesiastical Review 104 (March 1941): pp.275-77. See I.A. Extross, "Approaches to Christianity: How to Present Christ and the Church to the Hindus", The Clergy Monthly Supplement 4.2 (May 1958): pp.68-70.

  36. "To Christ Through the Vedanta", Dublin Review 184 (January 1929): p.37.

  37. "A Christian Approach to Vedanta", Month 2 (1949): pp.234-47.

  38. "Catholicism Meets Hinduism: Part I", Worldmission 8.2 (Summer 1957): pp.64-81.

  39. See, for instance, Jerome D'Souza, "The Ball and the Cross", Catholic World 130 (February 1930): pp.596-9.

  40. "A Convert's Guide to Hinduism", Worldmission 12.1 (Spring 1961): p.48.

  41. See, for instance, Peter Kreeft, Fundamentals of the Faith: Essay in Christian Apologetics (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), pp.93-4; and Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1994), pp.342ff.

  42. See Bob Larson, Larson's New Book on Cults (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1989, p.70) where the author includes a section on Hinduism whose polytheistic and idolatrous practices are said to be "pagan forms of worship that constitute collusion with demons." Mark Albrecht, in his article, "Hinduism", Evangelizing the Cults, ed. Ronald Enroth (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1990), dwells on five main themes-namely, the doctrine of God, the nature of the world, human nature, salvation and evil-to draw up a sharp contrast between Christianity and Hinduism. He rejects what he calls "Hinduised Christianity" and makes suggestions for evangelising those who have joined a Hindu group. He seems to be aware of the fact that not much of what he says about Hinduism is complimentary. In the end he states that he does "not recommend giving all or any of this chapter to Hindus or Westerners who sympathise with Hindu beliefs to read." (p.25). Needless to say, his write-up on Hinduism is not conducive to dialogue.

  43. See, for example, Jacques Dupuis, "Interreligious Dialogue in the Church's Evangelizing Mission: Twenty Years Evolution of a Theological Concept", Vatican II: Assessment and Perspectives, ed. Rene Latourelle (New York: Paulist Press, 1989), pp.237-63.

  44. Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, "Dialogue and Proclamation: Reflections and Orientations on Interreligious Dialogue and the Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ", The Pope Speaks 36 (November/December 1991): p.351.

  45. Cardinal Francis Arinze, "The Christian Commitment to Inter-religious Dialogue", Omnis Terra 24, No. 204 (January 1990): pp.15-6.

  46. "The Church in Africa and Her Evangelizing Mission: Towards the Year 2000", AFER: African Ecclesiastical Review 33 (1991): pp.73-4.

  47. John A. Saliba, "Christian and Jewish Responses to ISKCON", ISKCON Review 2 (1986): pp.76-103. This essay has been reprinted in ISKCON Communications Journal 3.2 (1995): pp.51-71.

  48. "The Hare Krishna Movement", Studia Missionalia 41 (1992): pp.106-26.

  49. "The Dark and the Light", Month 27 (1994): p.410.

  50. John A. Saliba, "Dialogue with the New Religious Movements: Issues and Prospects", Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 30 (1993): pp.51-80; and J. Gordon Melton, "New Religious Movements and Interfaith Dialogue", ISKCON Communications Journal, Issue 2 (July/December 1993): pp.73-9. See also "Dialogue and Proclamation", p.361.

  51. "Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity", The Documents of Vatican II, ed. by Walter M. Abbott (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1966), pp.584-630.

  52. See especially Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Exhortation, "Evangelii Nuntiandi", The Pope Speaks 21 (1976): pp.4-51 and Pope John Paul II's Encyclical, "Redemptoris Missio", The Pope Speaks, 36 (1991): pp.138-83. Cf. also, Secretariat for non-Christians, "The Attitude of the Church towards the Followers of Other Religions: Reflections and Orientations on Dialogue and Mission", Bulletin 19.2 (1984): pp.126-41.

  53. "Dialogue and Proclamation", pp.347-8. For a summary of some positive and critical reactions to this document, see Michael L. Fitzgerald, "Dialogue and Proclamation", Bulletin of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue 82.1 (1993): pp.23-33.

  54. Cf., for example, Jose Kuttianimattathil, "Elements of the Emerging Trends in the Christian Understanding of Other Religions", Vidyajoti Journal of Theological Reflection 59 (1995): pp.281-9.

  55. "Evangelii Nuntiandi", The Pope Speaks 21 (1976): 13. This passage is quoted in "Dialogue and Proclamation", pp.349-50.

  56. Bishop Teodor Bacani, "The Need for a New Evangelization", Indian Missiological Review 15.1 (1993): pp.20-32; Albert Nambiaparapil, "Evangelization and Inter-Religious Dialogue", Indian Missiological Review 17.2 (1995): pp.72-83; and John Peters, "Evangelization and Dialogue", Vidyajoti Journal of Theological Reflection 54 (1990): pp.401-11.

  57. See, for example, Jacob Kavunkal, "Dialogue and Conversion", Vidyajoti Journal of Theological Reflection 54 (1990): pp.177-87; and A. Pushparajan, "Mission and Dialogue: Are They Contradictory to Each Other?", Indian Missiological Review 13.1 (1991): pp.55-64. One should note that there is disagreement about the meaning of conversion. Asish K. Mondal, in his essay, "The Place of Conversion in Christian Mission", Indian Missiological Review 13.3 (1991): pp.17-23, has argued in favour of the traditional view of mission which seeks the conversion of Hindus and their incorporation within the Christian Church.

  58. "Working for Harmony in the Contemporary World: A Hindu-Christian Dialogue", Catholic International 7 (February 1996): p.96.

  59. Consult the document "Dialogue and Proclamation", pp.358-9, where four different forms of dialogue are listed, namely (1) the dialogue of life, (2) the dialogue of action, (3) the dialogue of theological exchange and (4) the dialogue of religious experience.

  60. Cardinal Francis Arinze, "The Christian Commitment to Interreligious Dialogue", p.12.

  61. See, for example, Religions in the U.K.: A Multi-Faith Directory, ed. Paul Weller (Derby, U.K.: University of Derby, 1993), where ISKCON is included with the Hindu Community (p.228 ff.); and North America Interfaith Directory 1990, ed. Daniel L. Anderson (New York: Temple of Understanding, 1990), where ISKCON is listed with religious organisations in the Pacific region.

  62. See Melton, "New Religious Movements and Interfaith Dialogue", pp.78-9.

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