Catholic Ashrams


Catholic Ashrams is a book published by Sita Ram Goel in 1988 under his Voice of India imprint. The book was reprinted in an enlarged version in 1994. The book's analysis centers on the Christian missionaries associated with Catholic so-called "ashrams" in India. Goel sees in this method of cultural appropriation from Hindu tradition an attempt to obfuscate their actual intentions. Representatives of this Christian Ashram Movement are Robert de Nobili, Jules Monchanin, Henri Le Saux (who adopted the "Hindu" name, Swami Abhishiktananda) and Bede Griffiths. Goel criticized the work of his Christian friend Swami Abhishiktananda, and presented a dialogue between Bede and Shri Ram Swarup. Goel was the treasurer of the Christian "Abhishiktananda Society" when he published his critical book Catholic Ashrams; its publication alienated him from many friends.Christian apostates have favourably commented on this book. Catherine Cornille and others have criticized Goel for his anti-Christian perspective. Cornille has claimed that Goel belongs to a movement that "seeks to return to the pure Vedic religion", a charge that Goel has denied.Goel was also criticized by Christian author and nun Vandana Mataji.Goel was treasurer of the Christian Abhishiktananda society before in later years he became a vocal critic of Christianity. Goel has also written other books about Christianity: History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1989), Papacy, Its Doctrine and History (1986), and Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Aggression.
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original title: Catholic Ashrams
date of publication: 1988

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