By Stephen Neill
Christians shape the 3rd greatest spiritual neighborhood in India. How has this happen? there are numerous experiences of separate teams: yet there has up to now 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 throughout the ups and downs of at the very least fifteen centuries. It comprises cautious reports of the political and social heritage and of the non-Christian reactions to the Christian message. The narration is non-technical and may current few problems to the considerate reader; the extra technical issues are handled in notes and appendices. This publication can be of curiosity to all scholars of Church historical past and also will end up interesting to many that are all in favour of the advance of Christianity as an international faith and within the discussion among various kinds of religion.
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Extra resources for A History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to AD 1707 (Vol 1)
The devout Muslim is not likely to regard the mosque as a place in which God is specially present: it is simply a convenience to the worshipper to have a place set apart in which the people of God can become visible, and carry out its ceremonies as a community. The Hindu regards the temple as a place in which God dwells. Once again the origin of the change may be sought in Buddhist religion; the Stupa grew out of the distribution of the relics of the Buddha and the development of great edifices in which the relics could be housed in a dignity suited to their pre-eminence.
Some spirits, however, are beneficent, though they may turn against their worshippers if their due claims to honour are not recognised. Belief in magic, both black and white, in witchcraft, and in the power of the evil eye, is almost universal. 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.
The Greeks were much more concerned for accuracy in this field, and the events of Alexander's campaigns can be dated with almost perfect precision. Working backwards and forwards from these data, the patient labour of scholars has produced a good deal of order out of the pre-existing chaos. Much still remains obscure; but the epochs of India's religious history have become reasonably clear to us. The Greeks maintained kingdoms in north-west India for almost three centuries. Yet their influence was surprisingly limited.