Divine Interaction with Mankind
In its orthodox form, as laid down at the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon, the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation states that Jesus was God incarnate, the Second Person of the Triune God living a human life. It is axiomatic that there cannot be another divine Incarnation, for in all respects Christ is unique. This uniqueness of Christ has traditionally been seen as justifying Christianity’s claims to exclusiveness, but the way in which it is formulated needs to be carefully defined in the light of the Hindu avatāra doctrine; as classically expounded this states that Visnu makes a series of ten descents into the world to punish evil for the benefit of his worshippers. This contrast between uniqueness and plurality is not found only here; Christianity, in common with Judaism and Islam, tends to regard anything which it holds to be of ultimate importance as for that reason singular, whereas in the Hindu view plurality is more characteristic of this world even in relation to the divine.
KeywordsHuman Birth Christian Doctrine Divine Nature Vedic Ritual Supreme Deity
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