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Across the Indian Ocean: Reconsidering Christianity in South Asia to the Ninth Century

Hegarty, James M. 2018. Across the Indian Ocean: Reconsidering Christianity in South Asia to the Ninth Century. In: Lossl, Josef and Baker-Brian, Nicholas J. eds. A Companion to Religion in Late Antiquity, Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World, Chichester: Wiley, pp. 207-232.

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Abstract

In this paper, I present, and reflect upon, the most important evidence upon which we base our knowledge of the transmission of Christianity to South Asia to the ninth century. I take up the major Late Antique sources on India, from the Acts of Thomas to the Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes. I also explore the, largely epigraphic, Indian evidence for Christian communities in first millennium South Asia. I re-examine these materials with a view to seeing what these sources can tell us about (a) the likelihood of the existence of an indigenous Christian community in India in the apostolic and immediately post-apostolic periods and (b) the way in which early Christians imagined India and the exportation of their beliefs and practices to peoples and places on the fringes of the known world. I show that enquiry into topic b is more fruitful on the basis of the evidence left to us than topic a.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN: 9781118968109
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2020 11:14
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/103477

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