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The Message of Jesus and our Customary Theological Language: An Indian Approach to a New Language in Theology and Inculturation

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The Asian Context demands a new language in theology, as both the Bible and the past theological formulations are conditioned by their time, place and problems. The Paschal Mystery needs to be understood in the light of the picture of God given by Jesus as an unconditionally loving Parent. Jesus was killed because of the way he lived and spoke of God. Hence we need to look afresh at the sacrificial interpretation of Jesus' death. The title Christ is conditioned by the expectations of the Jewish people, and Jesus, the Son of God we honour, is more and other than what they expected. Past theological developments did not come from this picture of God, and from Jesus' outlook, his options and priorities; they were responses to the problems of their times, conditioned more by Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy, than by the good news that Jesus proclaimed. In the context of the 'Old Testament' of the peoples of these places, with Jesus' option for the poor, we need to announce the simple message of Jesus to let new theologies and liturgies emerge. Certain conditions are necessary for any true inculturation of the gospel message.


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