Hindus are urging University of St Andrews (USTA) in Scotland to give Hinduism an objective treatment in its upcoming St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought, should be accorded the same-level of respect as other major world religions; distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said in Nevada (USA) today.
While some religions in this project were stated to be “entering the main phase” or in “initial phase”, but the “initial phase” of Hinduism had been pushed back to 2021. A public university like USTA should not be in the business of discriminating among religions; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed.
Moreover, in this John Templeton Foundation funded (reportedly £3.4 million) project, no exact time-table had reportedly been announced to include Sikhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Baha’ism, Shinto, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, etc.; which also offered great insights into the nature of the divine; Rajan Zed pointed out.
Zed further said that if USTA was honest and serious about the stated purpose of this encyclopedia of “treating the full discipline of Theology with rigour and clarity”, then it needed to be more inclusive, broader and just in its treatment of religious traditions/practices.
The St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology is “a nascent online, free-to-access encyclopaedia”. Brendan Wolfe is Principal Editor.
Research university USTA, founded 1413 with Pope Benedict XIII issuing the bulls, whose motto is “Ever to Excel”, has over 9200 students and is claimed to be among “world’s top 100 universities”. Professor Sally Mapstone is Vice-Chancellor.