Author: Leonard Fernando
ISBN/UPC (if available): 067005769X
Christians have lived in India since the early centuries of this era. In South India they believe their ancestors received the Gospel from the apostle Thomas. After that, the arrival of Christianity was sporadic, helped first by merchants and priests from the Middle East and from the fifteenth century by European merchants and missionaries who settled in India. The faith that took root was strongly influenced by local organizations and cultures; thus the Christians in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa are almost as different from each other as they are from their Hindu and Muslim counterparts, the tribal Christians of central and north-eastern India, and Dalit Christians all over the country.
Written by two of the country’s foremost theologians, Christianity in India traces the fascinating history of each of these communities, and descries the role of Christians in education, social services, multilingual publishing and the freedom struggle. The authors explain to non-Christians the tenets and rituals that bid the faithful, whether Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox-prayer, the Sunday service, baptism and marriage, the role of Jesus in daily life, Christians’ understanding of other faiths-and examine the controversial issues of caste within Christianity and conversions from other faiths.
Along the way, we meet the more colourful personalities in the annals of Indian Christendom, such as Emperor Akbar, who essentially founded the North Indian Christian mission; Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, the swadeshi Catholic who helped Tagore found Santiniketan; and Begum Samru, who converted to Christianity as a widow in 1781 and established a church in Sardhana, which remains a pilgrimage centre for Catholics, Muslims and Hindus.
The first of its kind for the general reader, Christianity in India is a priceless compendium of history, theology, folklore and anecdote, to be relished and referenced by anyone curious about the Indian story and practice of one of the world’s major faiths.
When Christians Gather
Who is Jesus Christ?
The First Christians in India
The Second Spring in South India
The Western Coast, Akbar’s Mission and The Question of Conversion
The Third Spring: The Protestant Communities
The Fourth Spring: Dalit Christians of North India
The Fourth Spring Continues: Adivasis in the Church
Smaller Christian Communities
Christians in the Life of the Nation
A Day in the Life of an Indian Christian
The Christian Mind and Soul