Christianity in India: Two Thousand Years of Faith
Leonard Fernando and George Gispert-Sauch
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 describes 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 bind the faithful, whether Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, and examine the controversial issues of caste within Christianity and conversions from other faiths.
Along the way, we meet interesting personalities in the annals of Indian Christendom, such as Emperor Akbar, who essentially founded the North Indian Christian mission, and Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, the swadeshi Catholic who helped Tagore found Santiniketan.
Dr Leonard Fernando was born in Tamil Nadu. Now principal of the Vidyajyoti College of Theology in Delhi, he has taught Indian church history and theology for many years.
Publication date: 2004
Pages: 352 pp.
- 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