Chapter 2 Silencing the Other: Eknath’s Hiṇdu-Turk Saṁvād and Thomas Stephens’s Discurso sobre a vinda de Jesu Christo

In: Through Your Eyes: Religious Alterity and the Early Modern Western Imagination
Ananya Chakravarti
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This essay compares two dialogic texts in Marāṭhī from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries: the bhakti sant Eknāth’s Hiṇdu-Turk Saṁvād [Hindi-Muslim Conversation] and the English Jesuit Thomas Stephens’ Discurso sobre a vinda de Jesu Christo [Discourse on the Coming of Jesus Christ], popularly known as the Krisṭapurāṇa. The former text is attributed to a Brahmin who spent much of his life in the heartland of the Marāṭhī cultural universe, while the latter was authored by a well-travelled European missionary who wrote the first Christian purāṇa from the margins of the Marāṭhī cultural universe in Portuguese Goa. By considering the ways in which these roughly coeval texts stage inter-religious dialogue within the Marāṭhī literary universe and considering Stephens’ work in light of the history of accommodatio, this chapter considers how silence in religious debates may and may not be read as signs of the tolerance of religious difference.

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