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Anantanand Rambachan
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Dr. Anantanand Rambachan is Professor of Religion at Saint Olaf College, Minnesota, USA, where he has been teaching since 1985.

Prof. Rambachan is the author of several books including, "Accomplishing the Accomplished," "The Limits of Scripture," "The Advaita Worldview: God, World and Humanity," and "Not-Two: A Hindu Theology of Liberation" (forthcoming). The British Broadcasting Corporation transmitted a series of 25 lectures by Prof. Rambachan around the world.

Prof. Rambachan has been involved in the field of interreligious relations and dialogue for over twenty-five years, as a Hindu participant and analyst. In April 2008, Professor Rambachan, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury delivered the distinguished Lambeth Lecture at Lambeth Palace, London. He is currently an advisor to the Pluralism Project (Harvard University), a member of the International Advisory Council for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, a member of the Theological Education Committee of the American Academy of Religion and a Trustee of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. Prof. Rambachan delivered the invocation address at the historic White House Celebration of the Hindu festival of Diwali in 2003 and also in 2004.

Entries by Anantanand Rambachan

In Honor of My Mother on Mother's Day: Mātṛ Devo Bhava (May You Become One for Whom Mother Is Divine)

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 6:25 PM

Mother's Day is awkward for those of us whose mothers have passed away.

A day that is meant to be one of joy brings with it the poignant memory of loss. A morning of anticipation to make a telephone call across the ocean, reminds us of silence on the other...

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Hindu Temples Must Be Open to All

(2) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 5:36 PM

Christian churches in many European countries such as Sweden, Denmark, France and Belgium are struggling with the phenomenon of declining attendance. The same is true of England where less than one million attend weekly Church of England services. The trend in the United States is similar.

In India, on...

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Hindu Temples in the U.S. Should Offer Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 2:10 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a historic decision earlier this year, made it legal for citizens of the United States, no matter what their sexual or gender orientation, to marry the person of their choice. The justices affirmed that this right to marriage is protected under the 14th Amendment that...

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Diwali: The Threshold Light in the Midst of Darkness

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 4:02 PM

The word "Diwali" means an arrangement or a row of lights. Traditionally, Diwali is celebrated on the darkest night of the year when the beauty and mystery of lights can be experienced in a special way.

In the Hindu tradition, light is a symbol for God and for truth....

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Hindus and Catholics: Reasons for Mutual Respect and Reverence

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 6:08 PM

Hindus and Catholics have a long history of co-existence in communities across our world. Catholics and Hindus have lived as neighbors on the Indian subcontinent for centuries. Hindus also live among Catholics in many other parts of our world, including Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Fiji, Mauritius, North America and Australia....

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Hindu Pride and the Future of Hinduism

(15) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 11:55 AM

Religious traditions that survived the colonial experience have done so with a bruised and even battered sense of self. Colonialism undermined Hindu pride and the confident profession of a Hindu self-identity. This was not just the consequence of political subjugation and economic exploitation. The religious traditions of the colonizers, with...

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The Future of Hinduism in America's Changing Religious Landscape

(38) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 10:30 AM

The recent PEW Research Center findings on America's religious landscape revealed that approximately 56 million Americans are religiously unaffiliated and belong to the category of religious "nones". There are more " nones" than Catholics or mainline Protestants and the "nones" are second only to evangelical Protestants. "Nones" are...

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Interreligious Dialogue: The Political and Theological

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 10:00 AM

Our world has always been characterized by religious diversity, both across and within religious traditions. Human beings have held different beliefs and engaged in different ritual practices for as long as we know. Diversity has not suddenly become a new characteristic of our present age. What is new about our...

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Diwali: Hearing Earth's Cry

(4) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 5:37 PM

On the occasion of Diwali 2014, I want to share a reflection on one of the central narratives associated, in the Hindu tradition, with this festival. This is the narrative that connects Diwali with the celebration and rejoicing over the return of Rama to his home, after a lengthy exile,...

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The Doniger Controversy and the Need for Hindu Theologians

(11) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 7:11 PM

The decision by Penguin (India) to withdraw Wendy Doniger's controversial book, The Hindus: An Alternative History, has, not unsurprisingly, elicited a huge volume and range of responses. On one side are those who see the issue solely as one of freedom of expression and worry that Penguin's capitulation undermines free...

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Truth Does Not Contradict Truth: A Hindu View of the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate

(136) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 10:36 AM

Last week, a much-publicized debate took place at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky between "Science Guy," Bill Nye and Creation Museum founder and creationist, Ken Ham. The debate, according to one news report, was a sold-out event that attracted dozens of national media outlets. Traffic was extremely high on...

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Diwali Does Not End When the Lights Go Out

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 10:18 AM

The word "Diwali" means an arrangement or a row of lights. Traditionally, Diwali is celebrated on the darkest night of the year when the necessity and the beauty of lights can be truly appreciated. Light is a symbol in the world's religions for God, truth and wisdom.

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Vivekananda: "For One's Freedom and For the Well-Being of the World."

(1) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 2:09 PM

Swami Vivekananda(1863-1902), whose 150th birth anniversary we celebrate this year, was a Hindu monk with an extraordinary vision and sense of purpose. Vivekananda inherited a tradition in which monasticism was widely understood to mean the renunciation of worldly interests in order to pursue a private religious quest for spiritual liberation....

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Hinduism in the Public Square

(27) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 2:55 PM

In ancient Greece, the agora or the public square was the space where the community gathered to discuss matters of shared concern. The public square was the vital center of civic, religious, artistic and athletic life. Although most nations today may not have an easily identifiable physical space for dialogue...

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Obituaries and Proselytization

(91) Comments | Posted March 24, 2013 | 5:02 PM

We recently lost a beloved family elder. He lived out his life within the structures of meaning and ritual provided by the Hindu tradition. These guided his commitment to work, his devotion to family, and his sense of justice. The beginning and the end of his life were marked by...

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A Theological Reflection on Shiva on the Occasion of Mahashivaratri

(184) Comments | Posted March 9, 2013 | 10:35 PM

On March 10, Hindus around the world will celebrate Shivaratri (The Night of Shiva). I share these theological reflections on the occasion of this sacred festival.

For centuries, Hindus have worshiped and described God through the name and form of Shiva. The name Shiva connotes kindness, benevolence and grace. Shiva...

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An Open Letter To Tulsi Gabbard From A Hindu-American

(56) Comments | Posted November 27, 2012 | 1:42 PM

Dear Congresswoman Gabbard,

Congratulations on your resounding election to the US Congress. Hindus in the United States, and in many parts of the world, celebrate your historical achievement of being the first Hindu-American in the US House of Representatives. Your public confidence in affirming your Hindu commitment is a source...

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A Diwali Meditation On Free Speech

(7) Comments | Posted November 11, 2012 | 6:01 PM

Our celebration of Diwali 2012 occurs in a year when, sadly, the major events associated with religion are stories of violence, suffering, anger, rage and protest. In Milwaukee, Sikh worshippers were slaughtered because they were different -- looked different, dressed different and practiced a different faith. A provocative film, made...

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