Accommodation: Historicity, Teleology, and Expansion in Indian Christianities


Ines Županov (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris/Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi)




18:15 Central European Summer Time


Zoom Meeting

Accommodation is one of the oldest concepts employed in the context of religious encounters. In recent historiography, it has been discussed as hermeneutic, as rhetorical and cultural/missionary reflection, and as praxis. In Christianity, accommodation is both symptom and result of cultural, social, and political diversity. Accordingly, it has been subject to internal disputes that even led to the redrawing of denominational boundaries. In this lecture, I will focus on the ways in which early modern Catholic missionaries (especially Jesuit missionaries in Asia) responded to a plethora of particular non-Christian religious practices with the universalizing drive of accommodation as a proselytizing strategy. In the process, they historicized the religious facts they encountered and contained them within Christian teleology as well as their expansionary political imaginations. I will argue that that this universalizing missionary use of accommodation produced fertile ground for the emergence of plural forms of Christianity.

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