//2000 years of Christianity in India in 800 pages

2000 years of Christianity in India in 800 pages

John Chathanatt, SJ talks of a volume on Christianity which he edited for an Encyclopaedia on Indian Religions


Ed. by John Chathanatt, SJ
Springer Link

Fr. John, is the book you edited part of a series of Encyclopaedia?  

Yes. The volume I have edited is part of a series of Encyclopaedia of Indian Religions. There are six volumes in the series – two on Hinduism and Tribal Religions, one each on Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism, Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. This volume on Christianity was published in December 2023.

Who have contributed to this venture?

The volume has 111 entries, authored by 85 eminent scholars. They deal with various aspects of Christianity in the Indian context. As we know, Christianity is present in this peninsula right from its inception. The volume focuses on the history, origin, organizations, belief system, worship practices, rites and rituals, Christian life, contributions, spirituality, doctrinal teachings, and various engagements of Christianity in the Indian sub-continent.

What, in your view, is special about this volume?

Right from Christianity’s entry into India at 52 AD, with the arrival of St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, to the present moment, covering a span of 2000 years, this volume tries to give, so to say, an aero-plane knowledge of Christianity in India. A pioneering probe into the antiquities of Christianity in India is attempted here. Emphasis is given to the historical life and growth of Christianity in India prior to its division into Protestant denominations starting with the Koonan Cross (bent Cross) episode in 1653. To cover 2000 years in about eight hundred pages or so is a herculean task; it will have its own drawbacks and shortcomings. In spite of that, a rather comprehensive view of Christianity would be attained from this volume, especially for a person of another faith or for one who is not that familiar with Christianity in India.

Fr. John Chatanatt, SJ (DEL) is Professor Emeritus and former Principal of Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi.