Dialogue and the Imagination: Reflections by an Indian Christian Artist

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Abstract

As an Indian Christian artist, I have reflected on Jesus’s dialogue with the Woman at the Well . Here we see the relation of Jesus to cultures beyond the Jewish one. The Biblical text has many layers of meaning. In Indian aesthetics, we learn of the ‘Dhvani’ or ‘implied meaning’ of a text. This implied meaning is discovered by the imagination, and is the basis for a re-interpretation of the text in our modern context of religious diversity, and ecological challenges. Attempts to relate Biblical narratives to images found in other religious traditions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, have sometimes been questioned as being syncretistic. However, a story like that of the woman at the well, has echoes in a similar story to be found in the Buddhist tradition, and in the universal theme of water, and its importance for life.

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Journal of Contemporary Christianities in Context

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