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The Syrian Malabar Nasrani people, also known as Saint Thomas Christians and Nasranis are an ethnoreligious group from Kerala, India, adhering to the various churches of the Saint Thomas Christian tradition. They are also known as Syrian-Malabar Christians, Suriyani Christiaanikal, Mar Thoma Nasrani, or more popularly as Syrian Christians in view that they use Syriac liturgy since the early days of Christianity in India.

The Syrian Malabar Nasranis are the descendants of the natives and those of the Jewish diaspora in Kerala [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] who became Christians in the Malabar Coast in the earliest days of Christianity.[1][2][3][4][5][6] The possibility of the early converts being partially from the ten Lost Tribes of Northern Kingdom of ancient Israel can not also be ruled out.[10] The community also comprises several ancient Aramaic Christian settlements in Kerala. It has been suggested that the term Nasrani derives from the name Nazarenes used by ancient Jewish Christians in the Near-East who believed in the divinity of Jesus but clung to many of the Mosaic ceremonies.[10] They follow a unique Hebrew-Syriac Christian tradition which includes several Jewish elements although they have absorbed some Hindu customs . Their heritage is Syriac-Keralite, their culture South Indian with semitic and local influences, their faith St. Thomas Christian, and their language Malayalam.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Much of their Jewish tradition has been forgotten, especially after the Portuguese invasion of Kerala in the early 1500s.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Terminology

Portuguese period

During the Dutch power in Malabar (1679-1728) there were four distinctive sections of Christians in Kerala.[11][12]

  1. Roman Catholic Syrian Christians.
  2. Jacobite Syrian Christians.
  3. The non-Syrian Roman Catholics Known as Inland Christians by the Van Rheede [13] and New Christians by Moens.[14].They were grouped into seven parish churches under the bishop of Cochin.
  4. Topass Christians. (Thuppai). They were the descendents of Indian mothers or fathers belonging to the diverse European nations.

Only the first two are Syrian Malabar Nasranis. Others are not. So, all Christians in Kerala are not included in this article.

Nasrani Mapilla

Syrian Malabar Nasranis are also called Nasrani Mapillas.[15] According to Hermann Gundert (who wrote the first Malayalam dictionary), the term 'mapilla' was a title used to denote semitic immigrants from West Asia.[15] Thus the term Mapilla was used to denote both Arab and Christian-Jewish descendants and followers in Kerala.[15] The descendants of Arabs are called Muslim Mappila the descendants of Syrian-Jewish Christians are called Nasrani Mappilas.[15] and the descendants of the Cochin Jews who have traditionally followed Halakhic Judaism are known as Juda Mappila[16]

History

Origins

TabulaPeutingerianaMuziris

Muziris, near the tip of India, in the Peutinger Table.

On the south western side of the Indian peninsula; between the mountains and the Erythraean Sea (now Arabian Sea); stretching from Kannoor to Kanyakumari was the land called Cherarajyam, which was ruled by local chieftains. Later this land came to be known as Malabar and (now) Kerala. Muziris (now known as Pattanam near Cochin) was the important entry port. After the discovery of Hippalus, every year 100 ships arrived there from various parts of the then known world, including Red Sea ports [17].

During the time of Moses and King Solomon, the Malabar coast traded spices and luxury articles with Israel.[18] Excavations carried out at Pattanam in 2008 provided evidence that the maritime trade between Kerala and the Mediterranean ports existed back in 500 BC or earlier [19]. It is possible that some of those traders who arrived from the west, including Jews, remained in Kerala.[20]

While Augustus Caesar (31 BC- 14 AD) was the Emperor of Rome and Herod the Great (37-4 BC) was King of Judea, ambassadors from Malabar visited the Emperor Augustus. [21][22] Nasranis believe that these ambassadors were The Wise Men From the East, of the Bible.[23][24] Thus the Malabar Nasranis are some of the earliest people who joined Christianity in India.

In the first century map Tabula Peutingeriana (see the map) a temple of Augustus is clearly visible near Muziris shows the close relation between Rome and Malabar in the first century BC.
Italy to India Route

The ancient navigation route from the Judeo-Roman world to the Malabar coast

The possibility of the early converts being partially from the ten Lost Tribes of Northern Kingdom of ancient Israel can not also be ruled out .[10]. The community also comprises several ancient Aramaic Christian settlements in Kerala. The Knanaya Nasranis claim to be the descendants of one such group of 4th century immigrants.[1][2][3][5][25][26] while Christianity in India originated in the first century AD, after St Thomas landed in Kerala in 52 AD[27].

Thus the community consists of people from many ethnic groups of Kerala including different trading diaspora of Jews and Christian settlers of successive centuries like Knanaya people.[1][3][5][6][25][28][26]

Thus the community consists of people from many ethnic groups of Kerala including the pre-Christian era, different trading diaspora of Jews [1][3][5][6][25][28][26]

The southern coast of the Indian subcontinent (hypothesized by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus to be the place mentioned as Ophir in the Old Testament) inevitably became a gateway from the Mediterranean world to Kerala. The people there traded in teak, ivory, spices and peacocks, and the area was endowed with a magnificent coastline with numerous ports from Mangalapuram to Kodungallur, also known as Cranganore.[9][29] In the ancient times it was called as Muziris in Latin and Muchiri in Malayalam.[30][31][32]

The trade routes brought with them not just riches but also stateless nations and nascent worldviews.[33][34] Cranganore became one of the earliest settlements of the Jewish diaspora from the later Old Testament period. They continued trade with the Mediterranean world, thus establishing a strong link between the southern coast of the Indian peninsula and the Judeo-Roman world.[35][36][37] Laying the links or foundations for what would later be the early 'Judeo-Nazaraean' diaspora. The early Aramaic-speaking Christians who came to Kerala from the Middle East (whose kin already had a Jewish settlement in Kodungulloor) were of largely ethnically Jewish origin.[1][2][3][8]

British researcher William Dalrymple travelled across the Arabian Sea to Kerala in a boat similar to those mentioned in ancient Jewish and Roman texts and showed how the Nasrani-Jewish people had travelled from the Middle East to Kodungulloor. He followed the same course as mentioned in the Acts of Thomas, a copy of which survives in a monastery on Mount Sinai.[38][39][40]

The term Syrian-Malabar Nasranis is a composite form of the elemental aspects of the ancient tradition. In it the term Syrian actually refers to the Aramaic speaking Jewish people rather than the country of Syria, while the term Malabar is the name of an ancient region of the present day state of Kerala in India. The term Syrian-Malabar Nasrani therefore means people of Christian-Jewish tradition and descent who follow Jesus of Nazareth and are from the Malabar coast of South India.[1][2][3][5][6][28][31]

The Tamil epic of Manimekkalai written between 2nd and 3rd century CE of Sangam Literature era mentions the Nasrani people by the name Essanis referring to one of the early sects within the Nasranis called Essenes.[41] In AD 883, Alfred the Great (849-899), King of Wessex, England reportedly sent gifts to Mar Thoma Christians of India through Sighelm, bishop of Sherborne.[42]. Around 1292 AD, Marco Polo (1254-1324) on his return journey from China visited Kerala, mentions that, "The people are idolaters, though there are some Christians and Jews among them".[43][44]

Epigraphy

File:Signatures.jpg

The Rulers gave the Nasranis various rights and privileges which were written on copper plates. These are known as Cheppeds, Royal Grants, Sasanam etc.[45]

There are a number of such documents (Thazhekad Sasanam, The Quilon Plates (Tharisappalli Cheppeds), Mampally Sasanam and Iraviikothan Chepped (Copper Plate) etc.) in the possession of the Syrian Churches of the Kerala State. Some of these plates are said to be dated around 774 CE. Dr. Burnell, Burkatt F C, Sir Baily Harold, C P T Wenkwirth studied the inscriptions and produced varying translations. The language used is Tamil in Tamil letters with some Grantha script intermingled and Pahlavi, Kufic and Hebrew signatures.

The ruler of Venad ( Travancore) granted Syrian Christians seventy two rights and privileges usually granted only to high dignitaries, including exemption from import duties, sales tax and the slave tax. A copper plate grant dated AD 1225 further enhanced the rights and privileges of Nasranis.

These plates detail privileges awarded to the community by the then rulers. These influenced the development of the social structure in Kerala and privileges, rules for other communities such as Jews at a later date. These are considered as some of the most important legal documents in the history of Kerala.[46]

Christian Jewish tradition

Church in kerala

An old church in Kerala

These early Christian Jews believed in Jesus as the Messiah, while continued following many of the Jewish traditions and Mosaic laws and called themselves Nazaraeans or Nasrani, meaning Jews who followed the Nazarene Messiah (Jesus). The term Nazaraean was first mentioned in the New Testament in Acts 24:5. The term Nasrani was used essentially to denote Jewish followers of Jesus from Nazareth, while the term Khristianos "Christian" was initially used largely to refer to non-Jewish peoples ("gentiles") who followed the Christ (Acts 11:26).[1][2][3][25][26][47] Until the advent of the Portuguese in the 1500s, the proto-Jewish-Nasrani ethos in Kerala thrived with Jewish customs and the Syrian-Persian tradition.[25]

They preserved the original rituals of the early Jewish Christians, such as covering their heads while in worship. Their ritual services (liturgy) was and still is called the Qurbana (also spelled Kurbana), which is derived from the Hebrew Korban (קרבן), meaning "Sacrifice". Their ritual service used to be held on Saturdays in the tradition of the Jewish Sabbath. The Nasrani Qurbana used to be sung in the Suryani (Syriac) and Aramaic languages. They also believed that it was the Romans who killed Jesus[1][2][3][25][26][31][48] because, historically, Jesus was crucified; the official form of execution of the Jews was typically stoning to death, while the official form of execution of the Romans was crucifixion.[48] The architecture of the early church reflected a blend of Jewish and Kerala styles.[48]

Persecution by Portuguese

A Syro Malabar Catholic Church or Nasrani Palli

A Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala, with the Holy of Holies containing the Nasrani Menorah or Mar Thoma Sliba (St. Thomas Cross) veiled by a red curtain in the tradition of ancient Jewish synagogue.

The Judeo-Nasrani tradition of the Syro-Malabar Nasranis was wiped out when the Portuguese invaded Kerala, and denounced the Nasrani account of Christian faith as false. They imposed their European rituals and liturgy and obliterated the Jewish legacy from the Nasrani tradition. The Portuguese described the Nasranis as Sabbath-keeping Judaizers.[49]

Archbishop Menezes of Goa, convened the Synod of Diamper in Kerala in 1599.[1][2][3][50] There he ordered all the texts of the Syrian Nasranis to be burnt.[1][2][3][51] The Portuguese burned several of these texts. The purpose stated by Menezes was to erase all legacies of antiquity and Jewishness.[49] Amongst several accusations, the Nasranis were accused of not venerating images of saints and biblical figures.[49] They completely obliterated the records of early Nasrani life and Hebrew-Syriac tradition, and imposed on the Nasranis the belief that they were local people who were converted, rather than descendants of early Jewish settlers converted to Christianity by the Apostle Thomas.[39][40]

Books ordered to be destroyed:[52]

General books destroyed: (1) Prammasa (2) Johannan Para Kalthon (3) Maarganisa (4) Vaappkadey Pusthakam (5) Aava Eilayya (6) Nuhara (7) Sunahadosa (8) Mar theermathay Osa (9) Njayarazhchayuday Emgartha (10) Makammasa (11) Kaamessa (12) Parapumman (13) Suryaniyile Malpanmaruday Pusthakangal (14) Peshitta Bible in Aramaic language. Worship books destroyed: (1) Hoodara (2) Sumaday Pusthakam (3) Annadha Pusthakam.

Nasranis outside the state of Cochin managed to preserve some elements of their Jewish original books. It was one of these books that Mar Thoma VI handed over to Dr. Buchanan in 1806.

Most of all, the Portuguese burned the Nasrani Aramaic Peshitta Bible known today as the Lost Aramaic Bible that was based on the Jewish Targum and included the Gospel of the Nazoraeans. The Portuguese imposed the teaching that the Jews killed Jesus. The Nasranis, who were, until then, the "living fossils" of the Christian-Jewish tradition, lost their very defining ethos.[49] The only Nasranis who managed to preserve some elements of their Jewish origin were the Knanaya people, because of their tradition of being endogamous within their own community and therefore preserving their Jewish tradition.[25][26][48][53][54]

Division and defiance

File:Nasrani Evolution.jpg


The oppressive rule of the Portuguese padroado provoked a violent reaction on the part of the indigenous Christian community. The first solemn protest took place in 1653, known as the Koonan Kurishu Satyam (Koonan Cross Oath). Under the leadership of Archdeacon Thomas, a part of the Thomas Christians publicly took an oath in Matancherry, Cochin, that they would not obey the Portuguese bishops and the Jesuit missionaries. In the same year, in Alangad, Archdeacon Thomas was ordained, by the laying on of hands of twelve priests, as the first known indigenous Metropolitan of Kerala, under the name Mar Thoma I. Those who took, or supported, the Oath became the Puthenkoottukar or New Party, while those who remained faithful to the Catholic Church became the Pazhayakoottukar or Old Party.

After the Coonan Cross Oath, between 1661 and 1662, out of the 116 churches, the Old Party reclaimed eighty-four churches, leaving Archdeacon Mar Thoma I only thirty-two churches. The eighty-four churches and their congregations were the body from which the Syro Malabar Catholic Church have descended. The other thirty-two churches and their congregations were the body from which the Syriac Orthodox (Jacobites & Orthodox), Thozhiyur (1772), Mar Thoma (Reformed Syrians) (1874), Syro Malankra Catholic Church have originated. [55] In 1665, Mar Gregorios Abdul Jaleel, a Bishop send by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch arrived in India and the dissident group under the leadership of the Archdeacon welcomed him. [56][57] This visit resulted in the Mar Thoma party claiming spiritual authority of the Antiochean Patriarchate and gradually introduced the West Syrian liturgy, customs and script to the Malabar Coast.

Though most of the Thomas Christians gradually relented in their strong opposition to the Western control, the arrival of Mar Gregorios in 1665 marked the beginning of a formal schism among the Thomas Christians. Those who accepted the West Syrian theological and liturgical tradition of Mar Gregorios became known as Jacobites. Those who continued with East Syrian theological and liturgical tradition and stayed faithful to the Synod of Diamper are known as the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in communion with the Catholic Church. They got their own Syro-Malabar Hierarchy on 21 December 1923 with the Metropolitan Mar Augustine Kandathil as the Head of their Church.

St. Thomas Christians by this process got divided in to East Syrians and West Syrians.

Further divisions

In 1772 the West Syrians under the leadership of Kattumangattu Abraham Mar Koorilose, Metropolitan of Malankara, formed the Malabar Independent Syrian Church (Thozhiyur Sabha).[56]

In 1876, The Mar Thoma Church came into being under Thomas Mar Athanasious. They were known as Reformed Jacobites before the group took the name of Mar Thoma Church. They introduced many changes based on the Protestant doctrine.

In 1961 , there was a split with the formation of St. Thomas Evangelical Church from the Marthoma Church .

However, in 1912 due to attempts by the Antiochean Patriarch to gain temporal powers over the Malankara Church, there was another split in the West Syrian community when a section declared itself an autocephalous church and announced the re-establishment of the ancient Catholicosate of the East in India. This was not accepted by those who remained loyal to the Patriarch. The two sides were reconciled in 1958 but again differences developed in 1975. Today the West Syrian community is divided into Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (in Oriental Orthodox Communion, autocephalous), Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church (in Oriental Orthodox Communion, under Antioch).

In 1926 a section of West Syrians under the leadership of Mar Ivanios came into communion with the Catholic Church, retaining all of the Church’s rites, Liturgy, and autonomy. They are known as Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.

Nasrani people today

Kottayam Valia Palli02

St.Marys Palli (Church) in Kottayam, Kerala containing ancient Nasrani symbols and Sassanid Pahlavi inscriptions.

Though much of the Jewish tradition was lost, some of the important traditions and Mosaic law observances lived on. The symbol of the Nasrani people is still the Nasrani menorah. Another surviving Jewish tradition still followed by the Nasranis is the tradition of Pesaha-appam or unleavened Passover bread. On passover night, the Nasrani people have Pesaha-appam along with Pesaha-pal or "Passover coconut milk". This tradition of Pesaha-appam is observed by many Nasrani people until this day.

The Nasrani Church has a separate seating arrangement for men and women. Until the 1970s the Nasrani Kurbana was sung in the Aramaic-Syriac language. Many of the tunes of the Syrian- Christian worship in Kerala are remnants of ancient Syriac tunes of antiquity.[58] The "Holy of Holies" is divided by a red curtain for most of the time and is opened during the central part of the Nasrani Mass or Qurbana. The Nasrani Baptism is still called by the Hebrew-syriac term Mamodisa and follows many of the ancient rituals of the ceremony. It is referred to in Malayalam as Njana Snanam (Bath of Wisdom).

By and large, today's Nasrani people belong to one or the other of the various Christian denominations of the Saint Thomas Christian tradition.

Demographics

Nasrani people largely live in the districts of Pathanamthitta, Alapuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam and Trichur in Kerala. They have also migrated to other cities in India like Kanyakumari, Ooty, Mangalore, Bangalore,Chennai, Pune, Delhi, Shimoga, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Kolkota. Others have migrated to the United States, Europe, Australia or work in the Middle East. Based on the Indian census report of 2004, there are presently approximately 6,000,000 Syrian-Malabar Nasranis from across the various denominations within the Nasrani community.[59]

Many Nasrani people own large estates and engage in trade of rubber, spices and cash crops. They also take a prominent role in the educational institutions of Kerala and throughout India.[60]

Increasing migration and decreasing birth rate are endangering the Syrian Christian community in Kerala. The situation is likely to worsen in the coming decades and the community would soon enter the zero population regime. The community is facing a Parsi syndrome. Already about 25 percent of Syrian Christians live outside Kerala with a huge population living outside India. Very soon, the majority of them would be living outside and in 50 years time, the demography of Christian population in the state would change drastically.[61]

Nasrani symbol

The symbol of the Nasranis is the Syrian cross, also called the Nasrani Menorah[62] Mar Thoma sleeba in Malayalam. It is based on the Jewish menorah, the ancient symbol of the Hebrews, which consists of a branched candle stand for seven candlesticks. (Exodus 25).[63] In the Nasrani Menorah the six branches, (three on either side of the cross) represents God as the burning bush, while the central branch holds the cross, the dove at the tip of the cross represents the Holy Spirit. (Exodus 25:31).[63] In Jewish tradition the central branch is the main branch, from which the other branches or other six candles are lit. Netzer is the Hebrew word for "branch" and is the root word of Nazareth and Nazarene. (Isaiah 11:1).[63]

Note that the Christian cross was not adopted as a symbol by Mediterranean and European Christianity until several centuries had passed.

Traditions, rituals and social life among Syrian Christians

1. The symbol of the Nasranis is the Persian cross, also called as Mar Thoma Sleeba in Malayalam. It is not very clear from which century onward this cross was in use. According to J Raulin, up to 16th century, the Saint Thomas Christians did not use any other image except the Saint Thomas Cross in their Churches.

2. Covering their heads while in worship. This is tradition among the Jewish descendents of Abrahamic religion. This is observed by the entire Nasrani people until this day.

3. Their ritual services (liturgy) was and still is called the Qurbana (also spelled Kurbana), which is derived from the Hebrew Korban (קרבן), meaning “Sacrifice”.

4. The Nasrani Qurbana used to be sung in the Suryani (Syriac) language. Until 1970s most of the churches followed Syriac liturgy.

5. The architecture of the early church reflected a blend of Jewish and Kerala styles.

6. Pesaha, the ritual supper which is the narration of the Paschal event is celebrated amongst Saint Thomas Christians. The observance of Pesaha at home is an unbroken tradition which only the Saint Thomas Christians has in the whole Christian world. It is the real Paschal catechesis in the families.

7. The Churches has a separate seating arrangement for men and women.

8. Many of the tunes of the Syrian- Christian worship in Kerala are remnants of ancient Syriac tunes of antiquity.

9. The “Holy of Holies” is divided by a red curtain for most of the time and is opened during the central part of the Qurbana.

10. The Baptism is still called by the Hebrew-syriac term Mamodisa and follows many of the ancient rituals of the ceremony. In 20th century it is referred to in Malayalam as njana Snanam (Bath of Wisdom)

11. Most of the Nasrani’s even today use Biblical names like Jews. Biblical names along with Greek, Armenian, Syrian names are the popular names in Nasrani Community through out existence. They prefix and suffix Kerala names to these traditional names. The naming convention is also seen among the Sephardic Jews, whose customs may have been absorbed by the Syrian Christians in Kerala. See Saint Thomas Christian names.

12. Immediately after a Child was born, a priest or male relative would shout in the child’s ear ‘ Maron Yesu Mishiha’ ( Jesus Christ is the Messiah ) and the child would be fed with three drops of honey in which a little gold had been rubbed.[64][65]

13. Another surviving tradition is the use of “Muthukoda” (ornamental umbrella) for church celebrations, marriages and other festivals. This can be traced back to a Syrian Christian Aristocrat Mar Sapir Iso who lived in the ninth century. Even today traditional drums and Arch decorations and ornamental umbrella are part of the church celebrations. Because of the harmonically co existence of religions in Kerala this became quite popular with other communities also.

14. Saint Thomas Christians were given the right to access Hindu temples and sacred territory. Some prominent Nasranis were patron and sponsors at Hindu temple festivals. They also acted as pollution neutralizers.

15. Nasranis and Hindus maintained their individuality in Kerala aware of and accepting similarities and differences. Boundaries between Christians and Hindus are blurred in some cultural sphere such us house building, astrology, birth and marriage ( use of sandalwood paste, milk, rice and areca nut)

16. The inner life of Nasranis is significantly ordered by liturgical obligations and by its specifically Christian ethics. Death rituals express Christian canonical themes very distantly especially in the ideas concerning life after death and the anticipation of final judgment.

17. Christians were also given some honorific titles. “Taragan” is a word derived from the word for tariff. “Panikkar” denotes proficiency in military training. The most common name of the Christians were Nasrani Mappila’s.

18. The Church of Saint Thomas Christians accepted the East Syriac liturgy from an early period and along with the liturgy, the systems of ecclesial government, such as Metropolitan, Archdeacon and Yogams had their organic development in relation with East Syriac Churches.

19. Syriac Christians are not allowed to marry from other religions.

20. Syriac Christian women should cover their body and head.

Notables

Notable people of this community include John Mathai (an economist who served as India's first Railway Minister and subsequently as its Finance Minister), Dr. Verghese Kurien (Father of India's White Revolution), Olympians like Shiny Wilson (Shiny Abraham), M. D. Valsamma, Wilson, Binu, Beenamol, T. C. Yohannan, Jimmy George (Legendary volleyball player), Cricketers like Tinu Yohannan and Abey Kuruvilla, T.M. Varghese(Leader of Abstention Movement. Founder member of the Travancore State Congress. Minister of Travancore-Cochin), Joseph Mundassery (Prominent literary critic of Malayalam language, Education Minister in the first communist ministry of Kerala), Mathai Manjooran(A freedom fighter, socialist revolutionary, member of the Indian Parliament, Labor Minister in the 2nd EMS communist ministry, and an advocate for the formation of Kerala State), Monce Joseph, P. J. Joseph, Cherian Philip (KTDC Chairman), K.M. Mani, Dr. George Thomas (Former MLA and publisher), George Menachery (Historian), writers Ponkunnam Varkey, M. P. Paul, Paul Zacharia, Reji Abraham (Managing Director ABAN Group of Companies), Kochouseph Chittilappilly (Business man(V-Guard, Journalists Sunnykutty Abraham, K. C. Mammen Mappillai, Victor George (Press Photographer), actors Sheela, Kunchacko Boban, Asin Thottumkal, Meera Jasmine, Nayantara, Dhanya Mary Varghese, Muktha Elsa George, Naveen Andrews (British Actor), cartoonists Yesudasan, Toms, social reformers M. C. Joseph (Rationalist, founding editor of Yukthivadi), Sister Alphonsa, Fr.Varghese Palakkappillil (Payyappilly), Baselios Thoma Didymos I Catholicose of The EAST, Scientists and technocrats Prof. Dr. George Sudarsan, K. Mani Chandy, Santhosh George Kulangara, Thomas Kailath, George Varghese, Thomas Zacharia, Mathai Varghese, Dr. Thomas Thomas, and Father V. C. Samuel.

See also

Notes

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Menachery G (1973) The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, Ed. George Menachery, B.N.K. Press, vol. 2, ISBN 81-87132-06-X, Lib. Cong. Cat. Card. No. 73-905568; B.N.K. Press – (has some 70 lengthy articles by different experts on the origins, development, history, culture... of these Christians, with some 300 odd photographs).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Menachery G (ed) (1982) The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, B.N.K. Press, vol. 1;
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Menachery G (ed); (1998) "The Indian Church History Classics", Vol. I, The Nazranies, Ollur, 1998. [ISBN 81-87133-05-8].
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Mundadan, A. Mathias. (1984) History of Christianity in India, vol.1, Bangalore, India: Church History Association of India.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Podipara, Placid J. (1970) "The Thomas Christians". London: Darton, Longman and Tidd, 1970. (is a readable and exhaustive study of the St. Thomas Christians.)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Leslie Brown, (1956) The Indian Christians of St. Thomas. An Account of the Ancient Syrian Church of Malabar, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1956, 1982 (repr.)
  7. Thomas Puthiakunnel, (1973) "Jewish colonies of India paved the way for St. Thomas", The Saint Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, ed. George Menachery, Vol. II., Trichur.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Koder S. 'History of the Jews of Kerala".The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India, Ed. G. Menachery,1973.
  9. 9.0 9.1 T.K Velu Pillai, (1940) "The Travancore State Manual"; 4 volumes; Trivandrum)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Grant, Asahel. The Nestorians, or the Lost Tribes, Containing Evidence of Their Identity. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1841
  11. Poonen, Dr.T.I. Dutch Hegemony in Malabar and its Collapse. Page 201-203.
  12. Press list of Ancient Dutch Records- 1657-1825.
  13. Van Rheede, Adrian. Dutch Commandeur of Malabar from 1673 to 1677.
  14. Moens was the Dutch Governern of Malabar from 1771 to 1781.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 The Land of the Perumals, or Cochin, Its Past and Present – Madras: Gantz Brothers – 1863.
  16. Bindu Malieckal (2005) Muslims, Matriliny, and A Midsummer Night's Dream: European Encounters with the Mappilas of Malabar, India; The Muslim World Volume 95 Issue 2
  17. Saryu Doshi. (Ed). India and Egypt. Co-sponsored by Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and Marg Publications, Bombay, 1993. p. 45
  18. ‘’Bible’’; I Kings. 9:26-28; 10:11,22; 2 Chronicles: 8:18; 9:21.
  19. Kerala Council for Historical Research findings in 2006-08.
  20. Edna Fernadez. The last Jews of Kerala.- The two thousand year history of India’s forgotten Jewish community. Skyhorse Publishing. c.2008. p. 80
  21. Nicolaus of Damascus
  22. Mathew N.M. St. Thomas Christians of Malabar Through Ages, Tiruvalla, C.S.S. 2003. ISBN 81-7821-008-8.
  23. Matthew 2:1
  24. Mathew, N.M. Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume 1.(2006). Page 68-69.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 Vellian Jacob (2001) Knanite community: History and culture; Syrian church series; vol. XVII; Jyothi Book House, Kottayam
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 Poomangalam C.A (1998) name= "Veluthat">Veluthat, K. (1978). Brahmin settlements in Kerala: Historical studies. Calicut: Calicut University, Sandhya Publications.
  27. T.K. Joseph (1955). Six St. Thomases Of South India. University of California. p. 27. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Tisserant, E. (1957) Eastern Christianity in India: A History of the Syro-Malabar Church from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. Trans. and ed. by E. R. Hambye. Westminster, MD: Newman Press.
  29. James Hough (1893) "The History of Christianity in India".
  30. Menachery George & Chakkalakal Werner (1987) "Kodungallur: City of St. Thomas", Azhikode
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Menachery, G. (ed.): (2000) Thomapedia. The Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, 2. Trissur). [ISBN 81-87132-13-2].
  32. Menachery, Professor George. (2000) Kodungallur - The Cradle of Christianity In India, Thrissur: Marthoma Pontifical Shrine.
  33. Bjorn Landstrom (1964) "The Quest for India", Double day English Edition, Stockholm.
  34. Miller, J. Innes. (1969). The Spice Trade of The Roman Empire: 29 B.C. to A.D. 641. Oxford University Press. Special edition for Sandpiper Books. 1998. ISBN 0-19-814264-1.
  35. K.V. Krishna Iyer, Kerala’s Relations with the Outside World, pp. 70, 71 in "The Cochin Synagogue Quatercentenary Celebrations Commemoration Volume", Kerala History Association, Cochin, 1971.
  36. Periplus Maris Erythraei "The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea", (trans). Wilfred Schoff (1912), reprinted South Asia Books 1995 ISBN 81-215-0699-9
  37. H. Rawlinson, Intercourse between India and the Western World from the Earliest Times to the Fall of Rome (1926).
  38. Dalrymple, William (2000) “Indian Journeys”, BBC documentary
  39. 39.0 39.1 Acts of St. Thomas (Syriac) MA. Bevan, London, 1897
  40. 40.0 40.1 Bornkamm, G. "The Acts of Thomas" in E. Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha, Vol. 2. London: Lutterworth, 1965.
  41. Manimekalai, by Merchant Prince Shattan, Gatha 27
  42. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Part II, AD 750-919
  43. Marco Polo. The Book of Travels Translated by Ronald Latham. 1958. Page 287.
  44. N.M.Mathew. St. Thomas Christians of Malabar Through Ages. CSS Tiruvalla. 2003. p. 78-79
  45. Syrian Christians of Kerala- SG Pothen- page 32-33 ( 1970)
  46. NSC Network (2007),The Plates and the Privileges of Syrian Christians Brown L (1956)- The Indian Christians of St. Thomas-Pages 74.75, 85 to 90, Mundanadan (1970), S G Pothen (1970)
  47. Puthur, B. (ed.) (2002): The Life and Nature of the St Thomas Christian Church in the Pre-Diamper Period (Cochi, Kerala).
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 Weil, S. (1982)"Symmetry between Christians and Jews in India: The Cananite Christians and Cochin Jews in Kerala. in Contributions to Indian Sociology,16.
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 Claudius Buchanan (1811). Christian Researches in Asia: With Notices of the Translation of the Scriptures into the Oriental Languages. 2nd ed. Boston: Armstron, Cornhill
  50. Michael Geddes, (1694) A Short History of the Church of Malabar together with the Synod of Diamper, London.
  51. van der Ploeg, J.P.L., O.P. The Christians of St. Thomas in South India and their Syriac Manuscripts. Rome and Bangalore: Center for Indian and Inter-Religious Studies and Dharmaram Publications, 1983.
  52. Canons of the Synod of Diamper, 1599, Day Two, Sesson 2, Article 13.
  53. Jessay, P.M. "The Wedding Songs of the Cochin Jews and of the Knanite Christians of Kerala: A Study in Comparison." Symposium, 29 August 1986.
  54. "In Universi Cristiani" (Latin Text of the Papal erection of the Knanaya Diocese of Kottayam)
  55. Catholic Encyclopedia- “St. Thomas Christians” The Carmelite Period,Dr. Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India”
  56. 56.0 56.1 Claudius Buchanan 1811 ., Menachery G; 1973, 1982, 1998; Podipara, Placid J. 1970; Leslie Brown, 1956; Tisserant, E. 1957; Michael Geddes, 1694;
  57. Dr. Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India”
  58. Palackal, Joseph J. Syriac Chant Traditions in South India. Ph.d, Ethnomusicology, City University of New York, 2005.
  59. (Syrian christian census 2004)
  60. ('The Hindu' Syrian Christians are in a class of their own South Indian newspaper article 31 August 2001
  61. ('The Milli Gazette'Syrian Christian pop. declining
  62. Culture | Nasrani Syrian Christians Network || NSC NETWORK || [ nasrani.net ]
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 The Holy Bible (King James Version): 1611 Edition (Thos. Nelson, 1993) ISBN 0-8407-0028-8)
  64. NSC- Admin (2007-01-12). "Some of the traditions and rituals among the Syrian Christians of Kerala". NSC Network. http://nasrani.net/2007/01/12/preserved-traditions-rituals-of-christians-of-kerala/. 
  65. "Saint Thomas Christians: Traditions Rituals And Social Life Among Syrian Christians". Discovery media. 2009-12-30. http://www.search-people-finder.info/topics/Saint_Thomas_Christians::sub::Traditions_Rituals_And_Social_Life_Among_Syrian_Christians. 

External references

Hardcopy

  • Menachery G (1973) The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, Ed. George Menachery, B.N.K. Press, vol. 2, ISBN 81-87132-06-X, Lib. Cong. Cat. Card. No. 73-905568; B.N.K. Press  – (has some 70 lengthy articles by different experts on the origins, development, history, culture... of these Christians, with some 300 odd photographs).
  • Mundadan, A. Mathias. (1984) History of Christianity in India, vol.1, Bangalore, India: Church History Association of India.
  • Podipara, Placid J. (1970) "The Thomas Christians". London: Darton, Longman and Tidd, 1970. (is a readable and exhaustive study of the St. Thomas Christians.)
  • The Land of the Perumals, or Cochin, Its Past and Present – Madras: Gantz Brothers – 1863.
  • Philip, E.M. (1908) The Indian Christians of St. Thomas (1908; Changanassery: Mor Adai Study Center, 2002).
  • Veluthat, K. (1978). Brahmin settlements in Kerala: Historical studies. Calicut: Calicut University, Sandhya Publications.
  • Aprem, Mar. (1977) The Chaldaean Syrian Church in India. Trichur, Kerala, India: Mar Narsai, 1977.
  • Menachery, Professor George. (2000) Kodungallur - The Cradle of Christianity In India, Thrissur: Marthoma Pontifical Shrine.
  • Dalrymple, William (2000) “Indian Journeys”, BBC documentary
  • Acts of St. Thomas (Syriac) MA. Bevan, London, 1897
  • Poomangalam C.A (1998) The Antiquities of the Knanaya Syrian Christians; Kottayam, Kerala.
  • Menachery George & Chakkalakal Werner (1987) "Kodungallur: City of St. Thomas", Azhikode
  • Bornkamm, G. "The Acts of Thomas" in E. Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha, Vol. 2. London: Lutterworth, 1965.
  • Tisserant, E. (1957) Eastern Christianity in India: A History of the Syro-Malabar Church from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. Trans. and ed. by E. R. Hambye. Westminster, MD: Newman Press.
  • James Hough (1893) "The History of Christianity in India".
  • Michael Geddes, (1694) A Short History of the Church of Malabar together with the Synod of Diamper, London.
  • Vellian, J (1988) Marriage Customs of the Knanites, Christian Orient, 9, Kottayam.
  • Lukas, P.U (1910) ed. Ancient songs of the Syrian Christians, Kottayam.
  • Menachery G (ed) (1982) The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, B.N.K. Press, vol. 1;
  • K.V. Krishna Iyer, Kerala’s Relations with the Outside World, pp. 70, 71 in "The Cochin Synagogue Quatercentenary Celebrations Commemoration Volume", Kerala History Association, Cochin, 1971.
  • Periplus Maris Erythraei "The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea", (trans). Wilfred Schoff (1912), reprinted South Asia Books 1995 ISBN 81-215-0699-9
  • Miller, J. Innes. (1969). The Spice Trade of The Roman Empire: 29 B.C. to A.D. 641. Oxford University Press. Special edition for Sandpiper Books. 1998. ISBN 0-19-814264-1.
  • "In Universi Cristiani" (Latin Text of the Papal erection of the Knanaya Diocese of Kottayam)
  • Thomas Puthiakunnel, (1973) "Jewish colonies of India paved the way for St. Thomas", The Saint Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, ed. George Menachery, Vol. II., Trichur.
  • Koder S. 'History of the Jews of Kerala".The St. Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India, Ed. G. Menachery,1973.
  • Vellian Jacob (2001) Knanite community: History and culture; Syrian church series; vol. XVII; Jyothi Book House, Kottayam
  • Tamcke, M. (ed.) (2001) : Orientalische Christen zwischen Repression und Migration (Studien zur Orientalischen Kirchengeschichte 13; Münster: LIT).
  • Puthur, B. (ed.) (2002): The Life and Nature of the St Thomas Christian Church in the Pre-Diamper Period (Cochi, Kerala).
  • H. Rawlinson, Intercourse between India and the Western World from the Earliest Times to the Fall of Rome (1926).
  • Bindu Malieckal (2005) Muslims, Matriliny, and A Midsummer Night's Dream: European Encounters with the Mappilas of Malabar, India; The Muslim World Volume 95 Issue 2
  • T.K Velu Pillai, (1940) "The Travancore State Manual"; 4 volumes; Trivandrum)
  • Weil, S. (1982)"Symmetry between Christians and Jews in India: The Cananite Christians and Cochin Jews in Kerala. in Contributions to Indian Sociology,16.
  • Menachery, G. (ed.): (2000) Thomapedia. The Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, 2. Trissur). [ISBN 81-87132-13-2].
  • Claudius Buchanan (1811). Christian Researches in Asia: With Notices of the Translation of the Scriptures into the Oriental Languages. 2nd ed. Boston: Armstron, Cornhill
  • Menachery G (ed); (1998) "The Indian Church History Classics", Vol. I, The Nazranies, Ollur, 1998. [ISBN 81-87133-05-8].
  • Jessay, P.M. "The Wedding Songs of the Cochin Jews and of the Knanite Christians of Kerala: A Study in Comparison." Symposium, 29 August 1986.
  • The Holy Bible (King James Version): 1611 Edition (Thos. Nelson, 1993) ISBN 0-8407-0028-8.
  • Palackal, Joseph J. Syriac Chant Traditions in South India. Ph.d, Ethnomusicology, City University of New York, 2005.
  • Joseph, T. K. The Malabar Christians and Their Ancient Documents. Trivandrum, India, 1929.
  • Leslie Brown, (1956) The Indian Christians of St. Thomas. An Account of the Ancient Syrian Church of Malabar, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1956, 1982 (repr.)
  • Thomas P. J; (1932) "Roman Trade Centres in Malabar", Kerala Society Papers, II.
  • Marco Polo. The Book of Travels Translated by Ronald Latham. Penguin Classics 1958.
  • N.M.Mathew. St. Thomas Christians of Malabar Through Ages. CSS Tiruvalla. 2003.
  • Bjorn Landstrom (1964) "The Quest for India", Double day English Edition, Stockholm.
  • Thayil, Thomas (2003). The Latin Christians of Kerala: A Study on Their Origin. Kristu Jyoti Publications. ISBN 8187370181

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