Jules Monchanin, Henri Le Saux/Abhishiktananda and the Hindu-Christian Encounter


  • Harry Oldmeadow


This article focuses on two Benedictine monks, Fathers Jules Monchanin and Henri Le Saux, who spent many years in the sub-continent where they immersed themselves in Indian philosophy and spirituality. The article compares and contrasts their differing responses to the "problem" of the relationship between Christianity and the Hindu tradition. The article argues that the more inclusivist understanding of Hinduism by Le Saux (who became better-known under his Indian name, Abhishiktananda) allowed him to reconcile the tensions and contradictions evident in the life and work of his fellow-monk. The article also explores Abhishiktananda's understanding of the ideal of renunciation as a meeting-point for the two traditions.