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Interreligious dialogue

14 August 2008
When the goddess Bhagavati calls on the virgin Mary, is it interreligious dialogue at a higher level? Or is it inculturation, or syncretism?
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk
“Yes, yes, the Virgin Mary is Bhagavati’s younger sister,” explained Vasudeva, the head priest, matter of factly, as if stating the obvious.

“But, for sisters, don’t they look rather different from each other?” I asked. A calendar image of the goddess, pinned up behind him, showed Bhagavati as a wizened hag wreathed in skulls and crowned with an umbrella of cobra hoods. In her hand she wielded a giant sickle.

“Sisters are often a little different from each other,” he replied. “Mary is another form of the Devi. They have equal power.” He paused: “At our annual festival the priests take the goddess around the village on top of an elephant to receive sacrifices from the people. She visits all the places, and one stop is the church. There she sees her sister.”

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Hat tip (indirect), to A conservative blog for peace.

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