Christianity within the Indian subcontinent reveals a tradition that goes back to nearly two thousand years — about the same time it blossomed in the now Middle-East and spread to Europe. Over these two millenia it has been shaped by historical contingencies that now reveal diverse traditions of Christian practice. Yet, in the backdrop of an emergent majoritarian nationalism, Christianity is constantly made to articulate its Indian character.
The course surveys the multiple pasts of Christianity in India and the diversity of its lived faith traditions. By incorporating a subaltern perspective especially through its ethnography and available primary sources, the course seeks to examine the debates and discourses that have come to define Christianity in the public sphere.
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.