To begin, then, with myself, as a Catholic priest I must be sensitive to the exclusiveness of some specifics of Christian beliefs. I am aware that these could come in the way, and so must be bracketed before entering this common ground for a mutual encounter. I hope to then come back to my own faith to reinterpret it in new and more critical ways and perhaps even make an unanticipated breakthrough [Sorry. I cannot resist noting that anticipating an unanticipated breakthrough is well, um, contradictory :)], a real conversion to a broader inclusiveness, which may well be an even deeper and more comprehensive faith. (From the Preface)Well, he asked for my thoughts on the book. He'll be getting them, for sure. :)
Rudi's a sociologist, and the prose is, well, very redolent of post-colonial post-modern stuff. Two chapters that I'm absolutely looking forward to: The Past from our Present, which goes into the history of religious conversion (Hindu, Islamic, Christian) in India, and Personal Journeys, which trace the stories of four "conversions" -- Ambedkar, Gandhi, Pandita Ramabai and Sister Nivedita.
Conversion is an inflammatory and fractious topic in India, in ways that Americans and other Westerners can barely appreciate. I'm sure Rudi's views will be thought-provoking, and educational.