“This book provides a well-considered overview of Christian expressions in India from the time of Saint Thomas in the first century to Mother Theresa in the twentieth century. Its representative choices of Indian Christians and events add freshness. Its plain language, readability, and coherent nature are appealing. Every reader, whether student or scholar, will find this text meaningful and illuminating.”
Christianity Made in India: From Apostle Thomas to Mother Teresa discusses the indigenization of Christianity in the Indian context. It is set in the larger context of the exceptional growth of the Church in the non-Western world during the twentieth century, which has been characterized by a diversity of localized cultural expressions. It recognizes that the center of Christian influence, numerically and theologically, is shifting southward to Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Increasingly, it is found in nontraditional (non-Catholic, non-Protestant, non-Syrian) churches of indigenous-independent variety, frequently charismatic, not necessarily Pentecostal, but of substantial evangelical and cultural diversity. Predominantly, it is a church of the poor. It affirms the reality that wherever the gospel goes, it takes root in the local culture.
- Publisher Fortress Press
- ISBN 9781506430324
- Format Paperback
- Dimensions 6 x 9
- Pages 320
- Publication Date November 8, 2017
1. Introduction: “Beginning from Jerusalem”
2. Foundations: Thomas and the First Indian Christians
3. A Thousand Years of Silence? The Forgotten Golden Age of the Church
4. Ziegenbalg and the Beginnings of Protestant Christianity in India
5. Carey and the Evangelical Experiment at Serampore
6. Ramabai Dongre Medhavi: A Change Agent in Modern Indian History
7. Evangelical Christians and Social Transformation
8. Indigenous Churches of South Asia and Beyond
9. Why Study New Movements? The Importance of India’s New Christian Movements
10. Religious Plurality and Christian Concerns: Insights from India
11. Poverty and Marginality: A Context for Evangelization
12. Creative Ministries of New Christian Movements
13. Living Water and the Holy Spirit
14. Fourth Branch Christianity and the Historiography of New Christian Movements
15. Christian Identity in a Pluralistic World
16. Hindus and Christians Together for Two Thousand Years
17. Conclusion: “To the Ends of the Earth”
Every reader, whether student or scholar, will find this text meaningful and illuminating.
Dr. Roger Hedlund is eminently suited to tell the story of Christianity in India
"As one who spent some four decades in India studying and documenting the diversity, growth, and challenges of Christianity in India, Dr. Roger Hedlund is eminently suited to tell the story of Christianity in India, spanning over two thousand years. It is no easy task to carry out this historic survey in just about three hundred pages. This scholarly work is a mini companion to the Oxford Encyclopedia of South Asian Christianity, of which Dr. Hedlund was the chief editor. This book not only addresses the contribution of the mainline Protestant and Catholic missions in India, but also discusses how the indigenous churches and new Christian movements transformed the face of contemporary Christianity. A distinct feature of this book is on how the Christian missionaries engaged with the Hindu community in diverse times and contexts, which resulted in mutual edification and enrichment.
“This book is meant not just for the Christian community of scholars, pastors and seminarians, but to every right-thinking individual who would like to explore and appreciate the rightful place of Christianity in the story of India over two millennia!”
A go-to volume for years to come.
"Seldom do we find someone who can move effortlessly from the book of Acts to recent history of Christianity in any region of the world, but Hedlund does this beautifully in this remarkable volume. Those interested in understanding Christianity as a religion, as well as understanding Indian Christianity will find this a go-to volume for years to come."
Scholars of contemporary Indian missiology and Church history, owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Roger Hedlund.
“Scholars of contemporary Indian missiology and Church history, owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Roger Hedlund, in his several avatars as a researcher, a guru [teacher], an Editor and, foremost, I would say, as a writer. His two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Asian Christianity is a monumental work, unique for the range of its contents. Just the number of experts from about all denominations in South Asia he could persuade to write for the Encyclopedia gives it a permanent place on the Reference shelf of every Seminary, Bible College, Contemporary Cultural Studies and History department.
“India is an extremely dynamic sub-continent -- in the fluidity of its politics, and the impact that political processes of the last hundred years have had on issues of religion especially of the Christian faith. The Freedom movement of the early 1900s, the Partition of the subcontinent in 1947 with its terrible bloodshed and the forced but incomplete exchange of populations, and the economic migrations of the last decades of the 20th century have seen deep, and still not fully explored, changes in the religious topography.
“Dr. Hedlund with his long stay and continuing refresher visits to India has kept abreast of these developments, adding his scholarship and enquiry and often encouraging others to map the changes. The many scholars, especially in the southern states, he has in his long career identified, and guided, ensure his lasting impress in this area that is so important to the church, and critical for those engaged in ensuring freedom of faith in the country.”
If you care about Christianity tomorrow, you should read it.
"Masses of Indians worship Jesus apart from historic churches. In this nation, the second largest in the world, Christianity has been present for 2000 years. Today large "Jesus movements" pulsate. This "Fourth Branch Christianity" grows alongside Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox sectors. Particularly in communities where food and water are scarce, security is shaky, statuses are marginal, religious pluralism is complex, spiritual forces threaten, and dignity remains a distant dream, the gospel and the Spirit empower in unexpected ways. This clearly-written book, cross-referenced to indigenous movements across continents, is an invaluable resource. If you care about Christianity tomorrow, you should read it."
This book opens a window on two thousand years of indigenous Christianity in India.
"This book opens a window on two thousand years of indigenous Christianity in India. Hedlund creates a vivid and sweeping overview by drawing on his years of research and writing on many different aspects of Christianity in that country. For the reader who knows nothing of the Christian heritage in India this book is an excellent place to start. Those with an understanding of Christianity in that country will find the perspective and interpretation of the individuals and movements insightful and an incentive for further study. The footnotes and bibliographies provide a great source for further exploration on what God has been doing in India for the last two millennia."
The book provides an excellent resource for students of inter-religious dialogue and the global church.
"Drawing from decades of research and experience in India, Roger Hedlund has produced an engaging and remarkably comprehensive account of Christian traditions which have made their home in the subcontinent. Hedlund’s lucid narration balances an historical perspective with fresh insights about new Christian movements and their interactions with India's pluralistic landscape. The book provides an excellent resource for students of inter-religious dialogue and the global church."
This volume, in short, is a work of outstanding empathetic insight and historical understanding.
"This book, reflecting a culmination of decades devoted to understanding India, is of compelling importance. This is so for at least two reasons. First, it challenges claims that Christianity in India is, or ever has been, an alien transplant imposed by colonialism. Second, it delves into intricacies of cultural hybridity that not only defines 'Indianness' itself but also various manifestations of Christianity in India. In fascinating encounters between the Christian message and local communities within ancient multireligious contexts, we learn that there never was a transformative movement that was not inspired by indigenous leadership. While Western missionaries may have provided infrastructural and technological assistance, such as schools, printing presses, and medical facilities, they were never primary agents of change. Colonial Christianity, wherever attempted, failed. No foreign ever generated a mass movement in India. This volume, in short, is a work of outstanding empathetic insight and historical understanding."
A stimulating compilation of essays on the array of indigenous expressions of the church that have emerged in India
"Roger Hedlund's Christianity Made in India is a stimulating compilation of essays on the array of indigenous expressions of the church that have emerged in India. It also provides glimpses of prominent prime movers. Among the thematic accents of the volume are the following: (1) Christianity's existence in localized formats in India long before its introduction to most of the West; (2) the church in India as an exuberant illustration of the translatability of the Christian faith into many discrete cultural representations; and (3) the medley of local (indigenous) expressions of Christianity in India as showcases of unity in diversity rather than isolated autonomisms. This highly readable collection on ecclesial origins and variety in the cultural kaleidoscope that is India should be of great service to the church on its errand to the world."