‘St. Thomas Christians and Nambudiris, Jews and Sangam Literature – A Historical Appraisal’, Bosco Puthur (Editor)
‘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.
Can anyone quote from this book.
There is absolutely no truth in Thomas in India Fables.
First “devapriya” asks someone to quote from the book — meaning he/she hasn’t read it.
Then comes the precious “Absolutely no truth” line.
How exactly can you make such an *absolute* claim?
If anything the history of Thomas in India has been treated poorly. Which means that one can’t make *any* statement on the matter with absolute certainty.
All at NSC.
First let us realistically agree that at any such forum there are participants of different personalities: religion, ideology, theists, atheists, extremists, so-called upper cast-lower cast(?) all…..
A Net based Forum cannot forbid anybody, if it, it fails the very purpose of it.
1. Let us agree: irrespective of differences all are fellow-human, let us cohabit.
2. Let ideas exchange, discuss, agree, even fight between, but NO fight between individuals.
3. All other religious has right to claim theirs best, as any Nasrani do.
4. If we term anybody lower cast/religion: that is Fascism, wretched in modern civilization.
5. If a point is raised let us respond after study of the subject, irrelevant uttering and victimizing personal accusations prove one low in standards, Nasrani or not.
6. A Nasrani has much more responsibility to keep peace, love, co-existence and decency at this forum named NASRANI.NET, if on the contrary make lowering and belittling Nasrani at large, even those Nasranis worldwide !!
Anybody can post anything(?) depending on his culture, breeding, ethics and civility
But the Admin got the right and necessity to inform/warn/remove any such posts as deem fit to them, on reasons.
No questions asked, we are using the Forum free of cost !
A true Nasrani is the follower of Christ who chosen to die for righteousness, universal love; outcasted Samaritan were his dear ones. Let us not denigrate, asperse, belittle, defame, degrade, disdain, disparage, libel, malign, pan, ridicule, slander, smear, stigmatize Christ as his followers.
Let us prove why we are Nasranis: with co-existence, love, regard, consideration to even to our detractors.
That only may change them. But they have the right not to.
Just to add some info on the above book:
The Book (preview above) costs Rs. 200 (Two hundred) INR, printed rate.
It may be available for even less at certain bookstores. So it is affordable and worth it !! I have read it more than once hence saying its a must read for all interested in genuine history and gets the reader started for exploration into facts.
The book is easily available at most book stalls. (I had purchased it from St. Joseph’s Bookstore/Press, Changanassery.)
Has anyone else here read this book (preview above) ? Opinions are welcome for sharing….
Is it available online anywhere? Or can we send the draft and get this book from the publisher?
Please let me know.
About online purchase I have no idea.
You may get it directly from the publishing centre, Kakkanad, Kochi if not available at stores (usually at church book stores). The details for contacting them and the procedure for obtaining the book copy is provided in the SMC website pages below…
Thank you. I will call and find out if the book is still available as it shows sold out.
I salute Mr. Sunny Alanoly for his views as how a fellow human being or a Christian should behave and think.
I recently read from one of the Church histories written by a Catholic priest in which he mentions about a research work conducted by the famous Manchester University anthropologist C.J. Fuller who says 85% of the Syrian Christians in a particular area in Kerala are converts from low casts. I do not want to name the place in question for not to offend the people from that area. If H.E. Puthur’s is a genuine quest (with all due respect to him) to unearth the untaped/untold history of St. Thomas Christians, I humbly suggest the scope of study should include C.J. Fuller’s above findings too.
I have gone through quite lot of St. Thomas Christian history litteratures starting from Varthamana Pusthakam and after reading all of them the reader gets an impression of what the writer wants to tell the reader. Of course its not history! Here I want to borrow the words of Mr. Sunny; Quote “If we term anybody lower cast/religion: that is Fascism, wretched in modern civilization. “Unquote
At the end of the day we are all Christians and we are asked by the Lord to bear His witnesses to the world. Not to tell the world I am Jewish Christian, Nambuthiri Christian and so on. We are all the followers of the risen Lord ! Not the followers of Carpenter Jesus.Let us not give a chance for others to laugh at us. Just imagine how much suffering he endured for you and me; and here you and me are arguing who is Nambuthiri Christian and who is low caste Chrisitan…!
Nothing wrong in history. But let the historians do it and let the churchmen spend ALL HIS energies which should lead his flock to Christ.
Let me make a brief quote from the above article
‘…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 time has now come, that we should be careful in applying the word ‘Jew’ in relation to us. We Malabar Nazerenes are not just ‘Jews’ but also of ‘Benei Israel’ heritage. I have found that indiscriminate usage of the word ‘Jews’ can mislead us in matters of our heritage.
If misused, we will find ourselves “searching like a blind man for a black cat in a dark room where there is no cat”. Abraham BenHur is his book ‘Jewish background of Jewish people’ made this serious mistake of indiscriminate use of the word ‘Jews’ to Benei Israel.
HIs book is a very intersting read, but it reveals his lack of intimate knowledge of Scripture and history. His brush is too wide, while it should have been fine and narrow. Trust, he will correct his error in the comming editions. He is knowledgeble to understand what I write and my criticsm, but not very knowledgeable that the book can mislead.
The division between Judea and Ephraim is too vast and horrid to be reconciled anywhere in the near future. Atleast let us do our part and present the facts right. Mainstream Jews in Israel and elsewhere also want to suppress the truth in this matter, the gentiles too are interested in the suppression. And we Malabar Nazerenes seem to have no clue as to what the difference between Jew and Benei Israel is.
Let us get the foundation and basement right, before we work on the edifice.
“…Abraham BenHur is his book ‘Jewish background of Jewish people..”
It should have been ‘
Abraham BenHur is his book ‘Jewish background of Indian people’
Regret the error made.
You wrote ‘..At the end of the day we are all Christians and we are asked by the Lord to bear His witnesses to the world. Not to tell the world I am Jewish Christian, Nambuthiri Christian and so on. We are all the followers of the risen Lord !..”
I will not challenge what you wrote as above.
But remember that God told of Israel asm
Exodus 4:22 “.. Israel is my first born..”
Isaiah 43:10 “…”But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the LORD. “You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God–there never has been, and there never will be…”
Hebrews 12:16 “..See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son…”
You see Edwin, let not the Malabar Nasrani be foolish to loose his first born rights. God tells Israel that He has chosen him as His firstborn and then says that Israel is His witness that He alone is God. To be a Nasrani is about this wish of God and not to show off that the Nasrani is a ‘Namboothiri Christian’ or a ‘Jewish Christian’.
Be careful not to loose your inheritance.