‘St. Thomas Christians and Nambudiris, Jews and Sangam Literature – A Historical Appraisal’, Bosco Puthur (Editor)
The present volume is the result of a modest venture of the Liturgical Research Centre of the Syro-Malabar Church to study the history of St. Thomas Christians, especially against the background of the early history of the Nambudiri Brahmins and Jews in Kerala (Malabar) and the famous literary work, the Sangam Literature. The study is a sincere attempt to search the roots of this unique Christian community in order to better understand it’s identity and to situate it with more relevance in the present day world.
The book contains the research papers, responses and observations presented in the three seminars on historical questions conducted by the Liturgical Research Centre and published in a very orderly manner which makes it one of the ideal books on many different subjects concerning Thomasine Christian history during various periods and that which can be easily understood by a lay person. Though there are many different topics by various renowned authors and experts, the main thrust of the book is to unravel the early history of the St. Thomas Christian community, by juxtaposing them all, which gives a clearer picture of the community’s early history.
The contents of the volume are interesting, thought-provoking and even challenging, with an unbiased approach towards history alongwith many reliable references provided, as one sees in the volume, hence, the reliability of the work is also assured.
St. Thomas Christians: A Historical Analysis of their Origin and Development up to 9th Century AD – Pius Malekandathil.
St. Thomas Christians: A Historical Analysis of their Origin and Development up to 9th Century AD – Dr. Pius Malekandathil : A Response – A. Mathias Mundadan CMI.
St. Thomas Christians in Malabar from the 9th to the 16th Centuries – K. S. Mathew.
Response to Dr. K. S. Mathew’s Paper : St. Thomas Christians in Malabar from the 9th to the 16th Centuries – Joseph Kolengadan (Nityasatyananda).
Nambudiris : Migrations and Early Settlements in Kerala – M. G. S. Narayanan.
History/Story : No Last Words : A Response – Scaria Zacharia
St. Thomas Christians and Nambudiri Brahmins : A Note – Rajan Gurukkal
The Nambudiri Community : A History – Kesavan Veluthat
The Jews in Kerala – P. M. Jussay
The Jews in Kerala : A Response – Samuel H. Hallegua
The Jews in Kerala : A Response – A. Mathias Mundadan CMI
Sangam Literature and its Relevance – SIRPI Balasubramaniam
Sangam Literature and Christian Elements – R. Balachandran
Sangam Literature and Christianity : A Response – P. K. George SJ
Early Tamil Oral, Literary and Architectural Traditions and St. Thomas Christians – K. Sadasivan
• St. Thomas Christians and Nambudiris in Kerala – Cherian Varicatt & James Puliurumpil
• Brahmins, Jews and Thomas Christians – Francis Kanichikattil CMI
• Tradition : Myth or Truth ? – John Kudiyiruppil MST
• Christianity is truly indigenous – John Palakunnel
• Validity of St. Thomas Tradition – K. A. Antony
• Historicity of St. Thomas Tradition – Sebastian Thayil
The contributors are some of the most renowned experts in history and literature and their professional profile is enlisted below as provided in the volume.
Pius MALEKANDATHIL is the reader in the Department of History of Goa University.
A. Mathias MUNDADAN CMI is professor emeritus of Church History of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore.
K. S. MATHEW is former Head of the Department of History of Pondicherry University.
Joseph KOLENGADAN (Nityasatyananda) is former professor of English at St. Thomas College, Thrissur and the Head of the Department of English at St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirapalli.
M. G. S. NARAYANAN is former Head of the Department of History at Calicut University and present Chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), New Delhi.
Scaria ZACHARIA is professor in the Department of Malayalam / School of Cultural Studies of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady.
Rajan GURUKKAL is the head of the School of Social Sciences of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam.
Kesavan VELUTHAT is reader in the Department of History of Mangalore University.
P. M. JUSSAY is former professor of St. Joseph’s college Tiruchirapalli and Annamalai University, Head of the Department of Humanities of the Regional Engineering College, Calicut and former Editor of ‘Kerala Times’, Ernakulam.
Samuel H. HALLEGUA is the most prominent member of the Jewish community of Mattancherry, Kochi.
SIRPI BALASUBRAMANIAM is former Head of the Department of Tamil of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore.
R. BALACHANDRAN is professor in the Department of English of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli.
P. K. GEORGE SJ holds Doctorate in Tamil for comparative study of Latin and Sangam Literature and was for sometime lecturer of Tamil in St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai.
K. SADASIVAN is Head of the Department of History of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli.
Few notable comments from the Editor as stated in the volume:
“These days one comes across in different circles a surge of interest in history. Unfortunately, very often, what is happening is not a genuine study of history but mere reading into history. In India, it seems , that there is an ever-increasing trend to turn legends into history. People turn to history in order to manipulate it and prove their own pre-conceived ideas and positions. But history itself gives us enough proof that sooner or later any such caricature of history will collapse under its own weight like sandcastles.”
“One who is genuinely not interested to know the real past will be afraid of the future and all the more he will be confused about the present. However, we hope that these studies will provoke in the readers genuine interest in the early history of St. Thomas Christians. By publishing the research papers the book aims at inviting the historians and scholars to come forward with further research and study in these areas of Kerala history, especially early history of Christianity in Kerala.”
Author Jackson John can be reached on mjjackson_12 at yahoo dot co dot in.