A History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to AD by Stephen Neill

By Stephen Neill

Christians shape the 3rd biggest spiritual neighborhood in India. How has this occur? there are lots of reviews of separate teams: yet there has up to now been no significant background of the 3 huge teams - Roman Catholic, Protestant and Thomas Christians (Syrians). This paintings makes an attempt to fulfill the necessity for one of these background. It is going correct again to the start and lines the tale throughout the ups and downs of not less than fifteen centuries. It contains cautious stories of the political and social historical past and of the non-Christian reactions to the Christian message. The narration is non-technical and may current few problems to the considerate reader; the extra technical issues are handled in notes and appendices. This booklet could be of curiosity to all scholars of Church background and also will turn out interesting to many that are desirous about the improvement of Christianity as a global faith and within the discussion among assorted varieties of religion.

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But the suggestions made in these pages as to the possible effects of the Dravidian presence on Aryan language, culture and religion make it desirable to round 21 The Indian Background off the picture of the Indian background by giving some attention to what was happening in the mainly Dravidian areas of the south, in which Aryan penetration had begun before the end of the period we are surveying but was still far short of total dominance. It had come to be taken almost for granted that the south had no civilisation of its own, and that it entered into the civilised world only through stimulation from the Aryan north.

There are a few indications in other sources of a connection between the Thomas story and the presence of Christians in north-western India. Too much stress must not be laid on Bishop John, who at the council of Nicaea signed himself as 'bishop of the Great India and Persia'. Some have supposed this solitary Persian at an assembly of Greek bishops13 to be no more than an invention, intended perhaps to convey the truly ecumenical character of the great gathering. It is not, however, necessary to carry scepticism quite so far.

A tradition of such rigid formality as that of the Brahmanas could hardly satisfy all the spiritual needs of a vigorous and gifted people. A reaction was bound to come, and come it did in the development of the second way, the way of wisdom. The Upanisads,29 the books of secret wisdom, are the record of this quest. A number of hints in the more ancient of these works suggest that they record also episodes in the struggle for leadership between the Brahmans and the second order, the Ksatriyas or warriors, from among whom the rulers are chosen.

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