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Ziegenbalg, Bartholomäus

(264 words)

Author(s): Jeyaraj, Daniel
[German Version] (Jul 10, 1682, Pulsnitz, Saxony – Feb 23, 1719, Tranquebar, South India) was profoundly influenced by the piety of his mother, the sermons of A.H. Francke, the writings of J.A. Freylinghausen, the training he received from J. Lange in Berlin, and his encounter with P.J. Spener. During his time as a pastor in Berlin, the Danish court chaplain Franz Julius Lütkens (1650–1712), acting on behalf of King Frederick II, reported to Lange and his friends the need for missionaries in the D…

Thomas Christians (Malabar Christians)

(710 words)

Author(s): Jeyaraj, Daniel
[German Version] Thomas Christians trace their origin back to the apostle Thomas Didymus, a disciple of Jesus Christ, who is believed to have established churches in Edessa, Persia, and South India, and died a martyr’s death in Mylapore near Chennai in South India (72 ce). They say the Acts of Thomas, oral traditions, and the ancient churches at Kodungalur, Niranam, and Quilon in Kerala prove their claims. Even though an act of the apostles in India has to be counted as unhistoric, the early origins of Christendom are indisputably in India. About 345 ce, Thomas of Cana led a group of Ea…

Schwartz, Christian Friedrich

(292 words)

Author(s): Jeyaraj, Daniel
[German Version] (Oct 8, 1726, Sonnenburg, Kostrzyn – Feb 13, Tanjore, India) worked as missionary in Tranquebar (1750–1762), Tiruccirappalli (1762–1772), and Tanjore (1772–1798). He established churches, primary schools, and introduced vaccination for smallpox. Under his leadership, special Christian settlements for persecuted Indian Christians were founded in Tanjore. His language skills (Ger., Gk, Heb., Tamil, Eng., Pers., and Marathi) enabled him to draw insights from different sources and wor…


(411 words)

Author(s): Jeyaraj, Daniel
[German Version] ¶ is a seashore village on the Coromandel Coast in southern India. When it became a Danish colony (1619/1620–1845), Ove Gedde (1594–1660), a Danish noble, and Ragunatha Nayak, the king of Tanjore (1600–1630), ensured religious freedom for the Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. The Danes built Fort Dansborg in the 1620s and erected the Zion Church (Danish Missions) in 1701. Tranquebar was a place of international trade. For over 200 years, Indian cotton and spices played a major role…


(1,741 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Jeyaraj, Daniel | Forrester, Duncan
[German Version] I. India – II. Caste and Christianity (in History) – III. Missiology I. India “Caste” (from Port. casta, “pure, unadulterated, chaste”) is the term used to denote Indian social groups based on criteria of consanguinity and, in part, fictional genealogy; they are distinguished by common occupations, names, and traditions, especially norms governing marriage and diet (Dietary laws: VIII). Traditional Hindu society adopts a hierarchic model of four classes (Skt. varṇa, often mislabeled “castes”) (Hinduism: III, 2). Castes are charact…