India and the Indianness of Christianity: Essays on Understanding-Historical, Theological, and Biographical-In Honour of Robert Eric Frykenberg

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India and the Indianness of Christianity: Essays on Understanding-Historical, Theological, and Biographical-in Honour of Robert Eric Frykenberg. Edited by Richard Fox Young. (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmanns, 2009. Pp. xi, 283. $45.00.)

Robert Eric Frykenberg is a household name among Indian students of the history of mission. He has made an indelible mark on Indian Christianity with his notewortiiy publications, which are classed alongside the works of Stephen Neill. But, unlike Neill, Frykenberg brought a new dimension to history; to bring to light those who are stuck, like sediments, at the bottom side of history.

India and the Indianness of Christianity, edited by Richard Young, is a collection of essays in honor of Frykenberg, by scholars of the history of church and mission in India and South Asia. Daniel Jeyaraj narrates Tranquebar mission history highlighting die intensive missionary activities from the Indian catechists of the eighteenth century. Brian Stanley focuses on the life and contributions of Henry Martyn (1781-1812) by seeking to redeem Martyn 's image from the hagiographical and by shedding light on the complex side of his character. On missionary portrayals of Hinduism of the nineteenth century, Geoffrey Oddie argues that Indian pundits (scholars) had an enormous influence in reaffirming, modifying, and changing the missionary perceptions. M. Bergunder explores the intra-confessional proselytism happening among the south Indian Christian communities. J. B. Carmen's longtime occupation with the interpretation of Hindu philosophy and religions, particularly the theology of Ramanuja (1017-1137?), calls for serious engagement to bring about East-West understanding. Wilbert Shenk seeks to show how "ancient churches" such as Syrian Christians in India were experiencing change and revival as the result of Protestant Christian mission work in the nineteenth century. There are two articles on north Indian history: One on the Kherwar movement among the Santal tribals, and one on nineteenth-century Christianity in Agra centering on Abdul Masih (1769-1927), a convert from Islam.

The promises the title offers us, namely, to provide readers with a taste of India and Indianness, are realized from western sources available in western academia. …