What Is Religion?: A Theological Answer

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9781620327944: What Is Religion?: A Theological Answer

What Is Religion? is one of those questions rarely asked by Christian theologians who engage in interreligious discourse. Nigel Kumar makes the case, however, that to answer the question is critical for Christian scholars attempting to negotiate multiple religious identities, as well as for those who want a clearer understanding of their own faith as religion. Kumar takes a historical approach to answering the question. He traces the development of the concept of religion and then formulates a theological answer, not only by looking at an Indian theologian, Chenchiah, but also by listening to other secular and theological voices.

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About the Author:

Nigel Ajay Kumar is a faculty member in the Theology Department at South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS) in Bangalore, India.

Review:

Drawing deep from the wells of Indian Christian theology and Indian religiosity, Nigel Ajay Kumar waters our thinking and refreshes our imagination through his erudite engagement with the question as to what religion is. Refusing to be elbowed aside at the wells by those who would claim that the waters are muddied beyond redemption, he enables us to be rejuvenated by his careful and painstaking analysis, as we drink from this outstanding book. --J. Jayakiran Sebastian, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

Breathtaking in scope and brimming with insight, Nigel Kumar brings the voice of the Indian lay theologian, Pandipeddi Chenchiah, into the global scholarly conversation about the meaning of religion. Using Chenchiah's insights, Kumar perceptively and persuasively argues that a theology of religions is not only possible, it is necessary. A fine example of constructive contextual theology set within the grand narrative of the Christian tradition. --John Vissers, Knox College, University of Toronto

This fine theological study of the nature of 'religion,' by one of India's brightest younger theologians, speaks into a world convulsed by 'religious' conflict and confused about 'religious identity.' Using the influential Indian theologian, Pandipeddi Chenchiah, as a foil for his work ensures that Kumar's book is as relevant to India as it is to scholars, diplomats, and religious leaders worldwide who face with all of us 'the crisis of religion' today. I commend the book warmly. --Christopher Hancock, Wolfson College, Oxford

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