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Christianity in IndiaFrom Beginnings to the Present$
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Robert Eric Frykenberg

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263777

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263777.001.0001

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Christianity in India

Robert Eric Frykenberg (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the challenges faced by Catholics in India. Catholics faced four major challenges which had to be surmounted simultaneously: first, the results of drastic decay, decline, disarray, and paralysis; second, open ecclesiastical warfare between entrenched forces of the Padroado Rial, with its seat in Lisbon, and the Propaganda Fide (Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide), in Rome; third, contested relations with Thomas Christians who had never reconciled themselves to the Edict of the Synod of Udayamperur, their loss of autonomy, or domination and overlordship of European missionaries and priests whose presence and whose Latin rite they deplored; and, finally, requirements for existence or survival within an imperial world that was at least secular and neutral, if not also increasingly ‘Hindu’ in its logic, thereby leaving the Church bereft of that historic support from the state that had hitherto enabled it to shape its own exclusive form of Christendom. In short, new instruments and means had to be devised by which the Catholic faith could face challenges that had never before been encountered, in such a way that it would not only become institutionally established but also be able to expand its evangelization and supporting institutions so that they could encompass the entire continent.

Keywords:   Catholics, India, Christians, decay, warefare, Thomas Christians

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