Christians and Missionaries in India: Cross-Cultural Communication since 1500
Pierard, Richard V., Journal of Church and State
Christians and Missionaries in India: Cross-Cultural Communication since 1500. Edited by Robert Eric Frykenberg. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2003. 419 pp. $39.00.
Treating Christianity as a global religion rather than as a Western one has greatly widened the perspective of scholars working in church history. Missionaries now are viewed as cross-cultural transmitters of the faith, and assessing the responses of the recipients and their shaping of the Christian message to meet local needs is as important as the actions of the sending churches. This symposium, with contributions from seventeen scholars in nine countries, excellently reflects the new emphasis. The primary focus is on issues of caste, conversion, and colonialism in the larger process of Christian extension in India, and the writers' approach is an Indocentric one.
The editor, a distinguished scholar of South Indian history now retired from the University of Wisconsin, shows clearly that Christianity has been present in India from the earliest days, and the Europeans who began coming there in the sixteenth century found an already well-established church. Missionary work over the next five hundred years took on many forms and had varying amounts of success, but it would be wrong to conflate or confuse Christian missions with Western colonialism. India's own Christians never submitted to Western domination, and the indigenous people who assisted the expatriates-catechists, pastors, teachers, Bible-women, etc.-did most of the work and achieved the greatest results. Europeans provided institutional and …
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Publication information: Article title: Christians and Missionaries in India: Cross-Cultural Communication since 1500. Contributors: Pierard, Richard V. - Author. Journal title: Journal of Church and State. Volume: 47. Issue: 1 Publication date: Winter 2005. Page number: 153+. © 1999 J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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