Missionaries in India

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Missionaries in India
Author Arun Shourie
Country India
Language English
Subject religion, social evolution, history of civilization, ethnology, cultural diffusion
Published 1996
Media type Hardcover, Paperback
Pages 316 pages
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Missionaries in India is a 1996 nonfiction book by Arun Shourie. The book was a catalyst for the reappraisal of the place and meaning of conversion and baptism in mission in India. Taking Arun Shourie's challenge positively, the Fellowship of Indian Missiologists (FOIM) decided to re-examine the issue of conversion and baptism. At its Fourth Annual Meeting at Ishvani Kendra, Pune, the subject of conversion and baptism was taken up from the biblical, theological, historical, religious and cultural perspectives. The resulting papers, responses and group discussions during the meeting were put together in the book "Mission and Conversion a Reappraisal".[1]

The idea for the book came after Arun Shourie reviewed the history of Christianity following his participation in a catholic conference. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), the highest body of the Catholic Church in India, invited Arun Shourie to give a "Hindu assessment of the work of Christian missionaries" in a meeting held at the Ishvani Kendra Seminary at Pune on 5 January 1994. Many eminent archbishops, bishops, senior clergy and Christian scholars from all over India were also invited. Shourie was asked to write a paper so that it could be included in a volume containing the proceedings of the 50th anniversary celebration of the CBCI. [2][3]

Arun Shourie said about his book: "To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its establishment the C.B.C.I. convened a meeting in January 1994 to review the work of the Church in India. [...] For some reason the organizers were so kind to ask me [Arun Shourie] to give the Hindu perception of the work of Christian missionaries in India. That lecture and the discussion which followed forms the scaffolding of this book. " [4]


Fr. Augustine Kanjamala, Secretary of the CBCI, who had invited Shourie for the lecture at Pune, later criticized Shourie for his book and presented a critique of the book.

As the campaign against Shourie and his book on missionaries in India grew larger, Prajna Bharati, an intellectual forum with headquarters in Hyderabad, invited several senior churchmen to discuss Missionaries in India with Shourie on a public platform. Fr. Kanjamala debated with Shourie on the contents of the book on 4 September 1994.[5][6]

Soon after the publication of the book by Shourie, Vishal Mangalwadi, an Indian Christian writer and activist, began to write letters to Shourie in which he responded to various issues raised by him. Shourie, evidently, did not respond to the letter. The ten letters with relevant appendices were published in 1996 under the title Missionary Conspiracy: Letters to a Postmodern Hindu.


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Dr. Sebastian Kim. The debate on conversion initiated by the Sangh Parivar, 1998-1999. Transformation 2005 (Vol. 22, No. 4, page 224)
  • Dr. Timothy Hembrom. Book review on "Arun Shourie and his Christian Critic" in the Indian Journal of Theology [1] "Book Reviews," Indian Journal of Theology 37.2 (1995): 93-99.
  • Mangalwadi, Vishal (1998). Missionary conspiracy: Letters to a postmodern Hindu. Carlisle: OM Publishing.