Chapter

Doubting Thomas: The Apostle and the Portuguese Empire in Early Modern Asia

Liam Matthew Brockey

in Sacred History

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199594795
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741494 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594795.003.0011
Doubting Thomas: The Apostle and the Portuguese Empire in Early Modern Asia

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This chapter discusses the discovery of the relics of St Thomas in India in the early sixteenth century by Portuguese explorers. It examines the debates that arose over their authenticity and the interactions between Europeans and the so-called Thomas Christians who served as the source for different accounts of the Apostle’s life. Central themes include the excavations at Mylapore, prophetic visions of Thomas, and the importance of divine assistance for the Portuguese Empire. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how ecclesiastical historians in the early seventeenth century produced new visions of imperial ecclesiastical events which incorporated both South Asian and European traditions.

Keywords: Portuguese Empire; Jesuits; Thomas Christians; St Thomas (the Apostle); Mylapore; India; Malabar; Portugal

Chapter.  9121 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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