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A History of Christianity in India 1707-1858

When, many years ago, my attention was first drawn to the history of Christianity in India, my primary concern was with the south, and with those areas with which I was familiar and in which I had myself worked as a missionary. But I soon came to realise that the story of Christianity in India must be regarded as a unity, including every area from Kerala in the south, the home of the ancient church of the Thomas Christians, as far as Kashmir and the homes of the mountain and forest peoples of the far north-east. With more extensive study, the perspective further enlarged itself, and Christianity in India was seen as a not unimportant part of the gigantic drama of the confrontation between Western and Asian cultures, which had been played out in other ways in China and Japan and other Asian countries. All Western cultures have been deeply influenced by Christian ideas, and these have resulted in convictions - about God and man, about human destiny and human freedom - different from those by which the Asian cultures have been determined. In India the confrontation was particularly intense, because of the length of the period during which East and West were engaged with one another, and because of the fact that so many of the actors on the British scene were themselves devout and fervent Christian believers.

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