2003, “‘Jesus is the Christ.’ (Acts 9.22) Can Jesus be called Shiva?” in Theology@ McAuley, E-Journal, Australian Catholic University, 2003.

“‘Jesus is the Christ.’ (Acts 9.22) Can Jesus be called Shiva?” in Theology@McAuley, E-Journal, Australian Catholic University, 2003.


We welcome strangers to our land. Shall we exclude their gods? Is the Christian essentially dismissive, even in a kindly fashion? Does belief in Jesus involve a rejection of ‘strange gods’ or can Jesus who is called Christ also be called Shiva and be so worshipped?

This is not a new question. Some see the depiction of Prajapati in the Purusha Hymn of the Rig Veda[1] ‘also as a prophetic revelation about the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.’[2] ‘They maintain that, according to this hymn, Prajapati … should …. Wear a crown of thorns …. [be] Bound to a tree …. [his] Bones should not be broken ….’[3] ‘They affirm that Prajapati is Jesus Christ’,[4] or that ‘Jesus is the real Prajapati’.[5] At the other extreme, some hold that ‘it is not possible to find divinely revealed truths regarding Jesus Christ in religious texts originating’[6] outside of the Holy Land. This paper wishes to avoid those two extremes and to propose an approach suggested by the fourth of the inter-faith dialogues, that of religious experience.


[1] The 90th hymn of the 10th Book.

[2] M.S. Vasanthakumar, ‘Expound Christ from Non-Christian Texts’ in Dharma Deepika, July – December 2000 pp.5-20. p.6. But ‘the interpretation of his death as a substitutionary sacrifice finds no echo in the Indian soul’. Op.cit. p.5.

[3] Vasanthakumar ‘Expound Christ …’ p.6.

[4] ibid.

[5] Vasanthakumar ‘Expound Christ …’ p.1.

[6] Vasanthakumar ‘Expound Christ …’ p. 13.

About interfaithashram

Rev. Dr. John Dupuche is a Roman Catholic Priest, a senior lecturer at MCD University of Divinity, and Honorary Fellow at Australian Catholic University. His doctorate is in Sanskrit in the field of Kashmir Shaivism. He is chair of the Catholic Interfaith Committee of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and has established a pastoral relationship with the parishes of Lilydale and Healesville. He is the author of 'Abhinavagupta: the Kula Ritual as elaborated in chapter 29 of the Tantraloka', 2003; 'Jesus, the Mantra of God', 2005; 'Vers un tantra chrétien' in 2009; translated as 'Towards a Christian Tantra' in 2009. He has written many articles. He travels to India each year. He lives in an interfaith ashram.
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