The Christians of Kerala: History, Belief and Ritual Among the Yakoba

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1993 - Religion - 279 pages
3 Reviews
Christianity in Kerala must be understood as a unique cultural configuration arising out of two kinds of situations. The first is its historical dimension: it is believed to have come to Kerala in AD 52, when St Thomas, the apostle of Christ, landed on the shores of Malabar. On another level, Christianity has existed within the framework of the dominant regional culture of Hinduism. This book is an attempt to understand the practice of Christianity in a small neighbourhood in Kerala. The author explores the relationship between Christianity and Hinduism by using the categories of time, space, architecture, and the body, and examines the ways in which Hindu, Christian and Syrian strands have woven together to form a rich cultural tapestry. Of these, the Syrian element is perhaps the most problematic, for Syrian Christians have felt the influence of the Middle Eastern churches since early times. Over the years, colonial interventions by the Portuguese and the British brought about a series of schism, leading in the late nineteenth century to a situation in which the relation of one denomination of Syrian Christians to the Patriarch of Antioch (the head of their church) was troublesome enough to be taken to the lawcourts. This book is about the Yakoba who are now divided into two groups: the Orthodox Syrians and the Jacobite Syrians. Their quarrel over ecclesiastical jurisdiction is recorded here, using people's voices to express the importance of understanding the past's relation to the present; and the ways in which the 'church quarrel' affects Syrian Christian life and experience. In this context, the relationship between the people and their priests is an uncertain one. A thirdquestion discussed in the book relates to the ritual life of Syrian Christians. Life-cycle rituals - marriage, birth and death - are seen to be not merely 'markers' of transition in the passage of life, but become statements of a moral and theological nature. There is a clear demarcation between domestic and canonical rituals of life crises: while the former are in consonance with Hindu ritual, canonical rituals are rigidly structured within the language of the Syrian Christian rite. Here, then, is presented most clearly the weave between Hindu, Christian and Syrian elements which gives Syrian Christianity its cultural distinctiveness. The problems raised in relation to the annual rituals of the Syrian Christians show that while these liturgical enactments confirm and consolidate given structures, in certain specific instances they also allow for the possibilities of transformation. People's interpretations of Christianity are thus a powerful mode of cultural expression and societal flexibility.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

dailym.ai/1gRwbPj, Jesus Never Existed Says New Report That Finds No Mention Of Christ In 126 Historical Texts
bit.ly/1gRxYE5, Jesus Never Existed Says New Report That Finds No Mention Of Christ In
126 Historical Texts
bit.ly/1gRwtpq, Jesus Never Existed Says New Report That Finds No Mention Of Christ In 126 Historical Texts
huff.lv/1nW9FHk A researcher claims Jesus Christ is not only not the messiah, but he never even existed.
bit.ly/1nWb8NK Jesus Never Existed Says New Report That Finds No Mention Of Christ In 126 Historical Texts
bit.ly/1bRztJO, Covert Messiah Jesus Christ.
Bit.ly/1bRzcqg, Ancient Confession Found: 'We Invented Jesus Christ'.
Bit.ly/1d82C7p, Ancient Confession Found that says 'We Invented Jesus Christ'
bit.ly/1ssckd1 Kerala Syrian christians are converts of the hindu untouchable Paraya community
bit.ly/1gMF5gw, Native life of travancore
http://onforb.es/1gMHNme On home purchase
Kerala christins were rat meat eating Parayas. After conversion to christianity they created fake history calling themselves as syrian christians who came to India in
AD 52, but the christianity itself was formed in AD 325 and predated it to show a fake Jesus Christians in kerala eat everything and that made muslims to eat even pork.Priest Mateer lived 28 years lived in Kerala. his Book published in 1883 in London. Native Life in Travancore ISBN 8120605144. on page 158 says Syrian Christians are Paraya.
bit dot ly/1ssckd1 Kerala Syrian christians are converts of the hindu untouchable Paraya community
bit dot ly/buUX4h, fake Thomas
bit dot ly/dy88Ou, Samuel Mateer F L S memorial church
bit dot ly/y372D, Myth of st thomas
scr dot bi/b26ikK, Myth of st Thomas
bit dot ly/1noN1oW convert for BEd,
bit dot ly/1lMoUNn fake saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple - Ishwar Sharan
bit dot ly/1rqarLu Articles on the dubious Saint Thomas in India legend by noted historians, researchers, and journalists
bit dot ly/1rqdiUM books fake saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple - Ishwar Sharan
bit dot ly/1bRztJO, Covert Messiah Jesus Christ.
Bit dot ly/1bRzcqg, Ancient Confession Found: 'We Invented Jesus Christ'.
bit dot ly/1d82C7p, Ancient Confession Found that says 'We Invented Jesus Christ'
huff dot lv/1nW9FHk A researcher claims Jesus Christ is not only not the messiah, but he never even existed.
bit dot ly/1nWb8NK Jesus Never Existed Says New Report That Finds No Mention Of Christ In 126 Historical Texts
bit dot ly/1nWacJi Jesus Never Existed Says New Report That Finds No Mention Of Christ In 126 Historical Texts
All christians in Kerala will become SC if church demaded SC is permitted as all Kerala chrisians a untouchable hindu Paraya community. Priest Mateer lived 28 years lived in Kerala. his Book published in 1883 in London. Native Life in Travancore ISBN 8120605144. on page 158 says Syrian Christians are Paraya. bit dot ly/1ssckd1 Kerala Syrian christians are converts of the hindu untouchable Paraya community
 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Susan Viswanathan is giving importance to legends ignoring concrete historical facts. In Kerala history there is absolutely no evidence of Nambudhiris or Jews being converted by St. Thomas or at a later stage by missionaries coming from Persia. Instead of scientifically proving (not manipulated ) genetic link between Jews or Nambudhiris with Syrian Christians, people like George Menachery are making ridiculous references to colour of dress, building model, customs, rituals and social habits to claim Brahmin and Jewish ancestry. Along with these preposterous comparisons, manipulated DNA tests are being conducted to nullify authentic records of conversion of untouchables by saintly and trustworthy CMS missionaries such as Norton, Fenn, Baker, Bailey, Peet, Dawson and others Hawksworth says that he converted slaves, and how can DNA test show that the descendants of the slaves have Jewish blood? The descendants of untouchable Ezhavas, mukkuvas, slaves and others in Alappuzha, Mallappally, Pallom, Mavelikara, Chengannur, Kottayam, Kochi and other places are now a part of mainstream Syrian Christian community. CMS (now CSI) church marriage registers will show how many Malankara and Jacobites have married CMS boys and girls.
Missionaries from Persia who came to Kerala in pre-colonial days were not Jews or Assyrians, but Persians. It is not sufficiently realized by racist writers that the immense majority of the members of the Nestorian Church living east of the Tigris were of Persian, and not Semitic or Aramean birth and extraction. Many were born of Christian parents who originally belonged to the Zoroastrian faith, and many others were only themselves converts from Zoroastrianism. So it is sheer absurdity to claim Jewish or Assyrian genealogy through Persians who periodically visited Kerala.
Another argument of these racists is that tying of thali is a proof that Syrian Christians are descendants of Nambudhiris. But this claim is also not sustainable because untouchables such as Parayas, Pulayas, Mukkuvas, vannans and many others tie thali. Paul Roche gives this account of Paraya Catholic marriage: “The priest, though of higher caste, does not treat the Paraiya couple as untouchables. He blesses the couple and says Mass for them. The symbol of the wedding union is the thali. The thali is a gold medal on a yellow thin string. It is yellow because it is dyed with turmeric (Manjal). During Mass the priest blesses the thali and hands it over to the bridegroom who ties it around the neck of the bride. The priest also blesses two flower garlands and hands one each to the bridegroom and the bride who garland each other.” The fact that Syrian Christians follow Hindu rituals is a clear proof that they were converted from backward Hindu communities. Ezhava, Pulaya and Paraya Christians are having Hindu relatives of their own castes even after conversion and therefore they still retain more Hindu rituals and customs than Syrians who were also lower caste converts. Menachery, instead of pointing out Hindu rituals and manipulated DNA, should give clear evidence about the conversion of Nambudhiris or Jews --- the locality of these Nambudhiris or Jews, the number of people converted, the year of conversion and , above all, the person or missionary who converted them. CMS missionaries’ diaries give a detailed account of the caste of the converted people and the date, place and year of conversion. Can Menachery produce such a record of Nambudhiri or Jewish conversion, instead of showing fake DNA or the white dress that even Paraya Pentecost people wear everywhere?
Quite surprisingly, these racial writers also claim that Church built on the model of a Hindu temple is another proof for their Nambudhiri ancestry. But Paraya and Pulaya temples are also like Nair temples.. Lamp, especially oil lamp, Kuthvilakku, is lighted on all important occasions of Parayas, and this practice is also prevalent in some Syrian houses. Church architecture was modeled on temple architecture because that was the prevalent pattern of buildings in
 

Contents

3
65
4
74
5
108
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1993)

Susan Viswanathan, Teacher at Hindu College, Delhi University; Fellow, Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum, Delhi.

Bibliographic information