Christianity in India From Beginnings to the Present

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-10-15
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Robert Frykenberg's insightful study explores and enhances historical understandings of Christian communities, cultures, and institutions within the Indian world from their beginnings down to the present. As one out of several manifestations of a newly emerging World Christianity, in whichChristians of a Post-Christian West are a minority, it has focused upon those trans-cultural interactions within Hindu and Muslim environments which have made Christians in this part of the world distinctive. It seeks to uncover various complexities in the proliferation of Christianity in its manyforms and to examine processes by which Christian elements intermingled with indigenous cultures and which resulted in multiple identities, and also left imprints upon various cultures of India. Thomas Christians believe that the Apostle Thomas came to India in 52 A.D./C.E., and that he left seven congregations to carry on the Mission of bringing the Gospel to India. In our day the impulse of this Mission is more alive than ever. Catholics, in three hierarchies, have become most numerous;and various Evangelicals/Protestant communities constitute the third great tradition. With the rise of Pentecostalism, a fourth great wave of Christian expansion in India has occurred. Starting with movements that began a century ago, there are now ten to fifteen times more missionaries than everbefore, virtually all of them Indian. Needless to say, Christianity in India is profoundly Indian and Frykenberg provides a fascinating guide to its unique history and practice.

Table of Contents

List of Mapsp. xxii
List of Illustrationsp. xxiii
Introduction: Christians, Christianity, and Christendomp. 1
Initial Expansions across the Worldp. 2
Proliferation and Propagationp. 4
Primal Religions and Christianityp. 9
History and Historiographyp. 16
Contextualizing Complexity, I: India's Lands, Peoples, and Social Structuresp. 21
Geo-environmental Settingsp. 21
Ethno-demographic Settingsp. 27
Language Settingsp. 30
Kinship Settings: A Classical Stereotypep. 35
Socio-structural Settings: Varnashramadharmap. 43
Village Setting: Primordial Political Entitiesp. 50
Contextualizing Complexity, II: India's Dominant Religious Traditions: Sanatana-Dharma and Dar-ul-Islamp. 57
Dharma/Karmap. 57
Al Hind and Dar-ul-Islamp. 72
Thomas Christians and the Thomas Traditionp. 91
The Thomas Traditionp. 92
The Acts of Thomasp. 93
The Thomas Parvam and Other Evidencep. 98
The Church of the Eastp. 102
The Waves of Refugeesp. 107
The Refugees from Dar-al-Islamp. 111
Conclusionp. 114
Pfarangi Catholic Christians and Padroado Christendomp. 116
The Missionaries of Medieval Europep. 116
The Pfarangi Fleets of Portugalp. 119
The Padroado Real of Goap. 127
The Imposition of Catholic Padroado Christendomp. 130
The Jesuit Missions in the Mufassalp. 137
Conclusionp. 140
Evangelical Christians as Missionary Dubashis: Conduits of Cross-Cultural Communicationp. 142
The Impetus of Missionary Pietismp. 144
The Dubashi Pandits of Tranquebar: Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg and his Tamil Associatesp. 146
The Dubashi Missionaries of Madras: Benjamin Schultz, Johann Philip Fabricius, and Telugup. 151
The Raja-Guru and Sishiyas of Thanjavur: Christian Friedrich Schwartz and his Disciplesp. 152
Conclusionp. 165
India's Raj and Political Logic: The Unification of India, a Southern Perspectivep. 169
Metaphors and Paradigmsp. 170
Pre-modern Systems of Powerp. 173
Baniya Company and Kompanee Bahadurp. 177
Dynamics of Imperial Logicp. 190
Stages of Imperial Expansionp. 194
India's Raj and Imperial Paramountcyp. 200
Conclusionp. 204
Avarna Christians and Conversion Movementsp. 206
Avarna Movements in the Southp. 207
Conversion Movements Further Northp. 230
Conclusionp. 240
Missionaries, Colonialism, and Ecclesiastical Dominionp. 243
Travancore: Anglican Attempts to Dominate Thomas Christiansp. 244
Tirunelveli: The 'Rhenius Affair' and Missionary Colonialismp. 249
'Tanjore Christians', Anglican Missionaries, and Castep. 257
Colonial Domination and Dual Identityp. 261
Conclusionp. 266
Indian Christians and 'Hindu Raj'p. 268
Christian Resistance to the Rajp. 269
'Hindu' Resistance to New Christiansp. 274
Hindu-Christian Disputes and Encountersp. 277
Official Responses to Religious Controversyp. 280
'Hindu' Establishment and the Statep. 284
Struggles over Defining 'Public' Spacep. 288
Conclusionp. 300
Elite Education and Missionariesp. 301
'Oriental' Learning and Modern Educationp. 302
Indigenous Demands for Modern Education in Englishp. 307
Early Official Efforts to Spread Educationp. 314
Pressures for Modern Education in Englishp. 320
Mahajans vs. Missionary Educatorsp. 327
Ascendancy of English in Upper-Class Educationp. 333
Missionary Compromise and Elite Co-optionp. 336
Conclusionp. 341
Catholic Renewal and Resurgencep. 344
Catholic India in Decline and Disarrayp. 345
The Padroado-Propaganda Struggle, or 'Goa Schism'p. 346
The Consolidation of Catholic Christianity in Indiap. 350
Conflicts with Thomas Christiansp. 358
Conclusionp. 375
'Trophies of Grace' and their Public Influencep. 380
Pandita Ramabai Saraswati: The Mahatma of Muktip. 382
Other Sample 'Trophies of Grace'p. 410
Conclusionp. 416
Adivasi Movements in the North-Eastp. 419
Naga Christian Movements: A Paradigm of Metamorphosisp. 422
Adivasi Movements of Meghalaya and Mizolandp. 445
Conclusionp. 451
Conclusion and Epiloguep. 454
Critical and Comprehensive Concernsp. 454
Epiloguep. 464
Bibliographyp. 485
Glossaryp. 517
Indexp. 535
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