Vivekananda’s Views on Christianity and Islam
Vivekananda was the Hindu revivalist of nineteenth century who preached the message of equality of all religions. In his lectures, he guided people to assimilation of religions and not their destruction. He emphasized on peace and harmony of religions that could only be attained through tolerance. This paper explores his claim of equality of religions from his writings regarding two religions - Christianity and Islam. Critical approach is utilized to identify the fact that either he is equating all religions or he is trying to submerge the non-Hindu religions in his philosophy of neo-Vedanta. Apparently, the tension between these two positions makes his theory of pluralism suspicious. In other words, his popular image of being a pioneer of religious pluralism needs to be reassesses by studying his writings and presentation of the beliefs, rituals, and practices of other religions, as well as, his practical interactions with the followers of different religions during his life. In this connection, it is important to explore how he perceives and depicts the personalities of Jesus Christ and Muhammad.