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 even before it took cultural roots in Europe. Over the years, it has been shaped by historical contingencies that now reveal diverse traditions of Christian practice.

This workshop will briefly trace the evolution of Catholicism in India in the context of its multiple cultures and traditions, as well as the current debates that inform it.

What does Catholicism in India look like?


  • What are the popular perceptions of Christianity in India? What do people of other faith traditions think of Christianity?
  • What are some of the traditions, customs or rituals of your own Catholic faith? How do they differ from other traditions within Indian Christianity? What do they reveal about your own society?

You can post me your responses in the form below.



Jesudas Athyal’s article is a rebuttal of Dilip Mandal opinion: “Christianity Is a Failed Project in India.” However, both are trying to offer a critique of Christianity. How would you respond to them? (Please go through Dilip Mandal’s text before reading Jesudas Athyal’s response.)

During the workshop, you will have an opportunity to share your opinion in the group discussion. You can also post me your opinions in the form below.



  • Congar, Yves. The Meaning of Tradition. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004.
  • Fernando, Leonard, and G. Gispert-Sauch. Christianity in India: Two Thousand Years of Faith. New Delhi: Penguin, 2004.
  • Frykenberg, Robert Eric. Christianity in India: From Beginnings to the Present. Oxford History of the Christian Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • O’Collins, Gerald, and Mario Farrugia. Catholicism: The Story of Catholic Christianity. Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

This workshop was conducted for the National Youth Conference of the ICYM (Indian Catholic Youth Movement) on 11-13 December 2020.

Rinald D’Souza SJ

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