Robert Eric Frykenberg

in Christianity in India

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780198263777
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191714191 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church


Show Summary Details


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

Chapter.  16314 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.