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The Birth of Jesus and Rama in Christian and Hindu Sacred Texts: An Exercise in New Comparative Theology

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One of the most popular Christian holy days is Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Less well known, at least in the Western world, may be the Hindu festival of Ramnavmi, the celebration of the birth of Lord Rama. The central text of Christmas is Luke 2, which narrates the birth of Jesus while placing him in a certain context. The great text of Ramnavmi is the Ramcaritmanas, from which many verses are read during the ceremonies. The Ramcaritmanas is a Hindi version of the Sanskrit Ramayana epic and includes the birth story of Rama and his brothers.

This article presents English translations of the texts narrating the births of Jesus and Rama, analyses these texts and compares their contents and finally draw some conclusions regarding the concept of incarnation found in these texts.

Affiliations: 1: Centrum iimo and the Department of Theology, Utrecht University the Netherlands, Email: f.l.bakker@uu.nl

10.1163/016627410X12608581119713
/content/journals/10.1163/016627410x12608581119713
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/content/journals/10.1163/016627410x12608581119713
2010-04-01
2016-12-10

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