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A History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to AD by Stephen Neill

By Stephen Neill

Christians shape the 3rd biggest spiritual group in India. How has this take place? there are various stories of separate teams: yet there has to this point been no significant historical past of the 3 huge teams - Roman Catholic, Protestant and Thomas Christians (Syrians). This paintings makes an attempt to fulfill the necessity for this sort of background. It is going correct again to the start and strains the tale during the ups and downs of no less than fifteen centuries. It contains cautious experiences of the political and social historical past and of the non-Christian reactions to the Christian message. The narration is non-technical and will current few problems to the considerate reader; the extra technical issues are handled in notes and appendices. This booklet can be of curiosity to all scholars of Church historical past and also will end up attention-grabbing to many that are fascinated by the advance of Christianity as an international faith and within the discussion among various different types of religion.

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It is possible, however, that we have here again to do with the age-long tension between Aryan and non-Aryan. Varna, one of the commonest terms for caste, means 'colour'. 61 The Aryans had come into India as roving pastoral bands, in which presumably there were many more men than women. Inevitably the conquerors took wives from among the darker people. The Aryans saw their distinctiveness disappearing, being swamped in the ocean of the darker people. It would seem a simple solution to decree that, in the event of such unions taking place, the children would belong to the group of their mother and not to that of their father.

There is belief in survival after death, but in most cases in misty rather than in definite form. The idea of one supreme god is not wholly absent, but in most cases such a god is thought of as remote, and no worship is offered to him. 66 And, since change and development belong to religion, in its simpler as well as in its more elaborate forms, it is impossible to infer with certainty from the present to the past, and to say that, because things are so today, they were so also three thousand years ago.

Man is alone and is cast back upon himself. It is his actions which bring reward or punishment here below or in the world beyond. A thousand rules for the winning of the one and the avoidance of the other hem in the daily life of the Jaina . . 35 In spite of the achievements of scholarship, Mahavlra remains a somewhat shadowy figure. In the study of the origins of the religion of the Buddha we II The Indian Background are nearer to historical reality. 36 It is possible to make, with reasonable confidence, the following affirmations: The life of SiddhSrta, better known as Gautama the Buddha, falls within the sixth and fifth centuries before Christ.

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