Monotheism (was: Crushing Defeat)

Lance Nelson lnelson at SANDIEGO.EDU
Fri Mar 10 22:46:46 UTC 2006

The fact that theologically educated Vaisnavas, as Ravindran points 
out, refuse to acknowledge Siva as Bhagavan, and avoid setting foot 
in Siva temples, seems to support my original point, doesn't it?  
They acknowledge Visnu as the single supreme being. Or am I missing 

But I do acknowledge, and welcome, the suggestion that not all 
Hindus, especially perhaps women, are theologically correct in their 
practice. But then the same would seem to apply to Roman Catholic 
villagers in Mexico, men and women, for whom the Virgin of Guadalupe 
and other saints (who may in fact be stand-ins for indigenous 
deities) are worshipped most seriously (and not just "reverenced" as 
the official theology would require).  My colleague at USD, Orlando 
Espin, writes about this. Are we then going to deny that Christianity 
is monotheistic?

For that matter, I have also had Vietnamese students who are 
astounded and upset to learn that the Buddha is not a god.

Thanks for you help on this!


On 10 Mar 2006 at 14:18, Ravindran Sriramachhandran wrote:

>  this is certainly not true of western tamilnadu where i grew up, in fact (coming
> from an 'orthodox' vaishnavite family) i was even 'advised' not to go siva temples.
> no talk about one supreme being, and at times when the local pujari used the word
> 'bhagawan'  (ofcourse 'perumal' was preferable) he made clear that he meant vishnu
> and not siva.

Lance Nelson
Theology & Religious Studies
University of San Diego

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