This Subject Includes

  • Course No: HS 764
  • Course: Ph.D Programme
  • Semester: I
  • Title: Christianity in Modern India
  • Stream: History
  • Preamble This course introduces students to some of the important scholarly writings on the history of Christianity in modern India, and equips them to engage with those writings in the context of their particular research areas. It will delve into the missionary work that spread across India during the 19th and 20th centuries, the impact it had on local societies and identities, especially within a colonial context. It will make an attempt to understand the role of local agency in the making of Indian Christianity – the experiences, articulations and activities of local missionaries, converts (especially, women and lower castes) and scholars; the complicated relations they shared with European and American missionaries; and the creative and at times ambiguous engagement they had with the intellectual and political currents of their times. The course will also examine the ways in which Christianity came to be lived and articulated in post-independence India, and the varied encounters it had with the secular as well as the communal demands of the Indian nation. Course Content Missionaries and missionary work: historiographical issues, colonialism and missionary work, imperial fault lines; Role of local agency: politics of caste, race and gender in the missionary movement, everyday lives of local missionaries and converts; Impact of missionary work: democratizing social space, recasting social identities, disturbing caste and displacing tribes; Intellectual worlds of local Christians: Vedanayakam Shastri and the Tamil literary culture, Brahmabandhab Upadhyay’s engagement with Advaita Vedanta, Vengal Chakkarai’s and Bishop V. S. Azariah’s ambiguous relation with nationalism; Articulating and living Indian Christianity: the ecumenical movement and the theological departures, popular religiosity in post-independence India.