A Contribution to the Study of Bhakti

Bensen, Rowland Carlyle

     After a survey of the factors contributing to the evolution of bhakti and the history of the bhakti movement, this dissertation is next concerned . . . with the manner in which the bhakti experience was theologized. Our interest is . . . theologizing, rather than the bhakti theology as such. . . . We desire simply to discern how Hindu theologians pictured the religious experience designated 'bhakti,' in its relation to the total universe, present and future, in other words, to find the patterns for their theologizing.
     The author concludes that the experience of bhakti was theologized in a way that kept the reality of the phenomenal world and preserved the differentiation of God and the individual. . . . But the theologians were never able to rise completely above the ancient doctrine that caste is the determining factor in character.