Jindal's Conversion Reflects Fluid Nature of Hinduism

January 17, 2008

Author: Robert Travis Scott

Source: The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Wire Service: RNS


When Louisiana Gov.-elect Bobby Jindal converted to Catholicism during high school and college, he took a momentous step away from his inherited faith of Hinduism, the prevalent religion of his parents' generation and Indian homeland.

But among Jindal's relatives and among Hindus in India generally, his decision to adopt the Christian way is strongly supported.

Jindal's personal path to Christianity was aided by an open-minded attitude among his relatives about theology. His infrequent visits to India as a child gave him little chance to acquire a deeply ingrained appreciation for Hindu culture.

His relatives' perspective reflects a tolerant side of Hinduism, which for thousands of years has survived philosophical transformations, rebellious counter-religions and numerous sects, only to claim them all in time as part of the infinitely flexible cosmos of Hindu faith.