Christianity, the Arts and
the making of its Indian Aesthetics



Rinald D’Souza is a historian of religion and society in modern South Asia. He specialises on twentieth-century Christianity and the history of the Jesuits in India.

His current research explores the self-fashioning of Adivasi Jesuits through the missionary periodical press.

What makes us conceptualise art as Indian and Christian? Between its cultural crossovers and regional aesthetics, the efflorescence of “Indian” Christian Art has been an ongoing negotiation between tradition and modernity. In the process, it locates Christianity in India within its regional cultural aesthetics and practices.

The seminar is designed as a series of twelve sessions whereby participants begin with an appreciation and analysis of an artwork and discuss its emergent themes through guided readings. Apart from contextualising the varied art traditions and movements within South Asia, participants will be encouraged to develop a critical reading of what constitutes Indian Christian art. How does such a reading contribute to the making of its own Indian aesthetics?