Syro Malabar Church

As most of the written legacy of the Saint Thomas Christians was branded 'Nestorian' and destroyed after the Synod of Diamper (1599), a ressourcement of the Syro-Malabar theological tradition has been extremely difficult. In addition, because the East Syrian ('Chaldean') tradition is viewed as a later imposition - much more benign, but nonetheless just as alien as the Latin - the stress is laid on developing an authentically Indian theology. Since Vatican II, several hundred theological publications have appeared. Many of them might be characterized as an appropriation of mainstream post-conciliar Roman Catholic theology.

Theologians Joseph Pathrapamkal and Antony Edanad have employed a spiritual reading of scripture to dialogue with the socio-cultural situation of India. The former has even reflected on biblical notions of righteousness as related to the Hindu notion of Dharma. Placid Podipara, Xavier Koodapuzha and A. M. Mundadan have made significant contributions to a pan-Indian ecclesiology in which dynamic interaction among all of the churches of India - with a view to curing that country's social ills - is stressed just as much as communion with Rome. Elements of a liberation theology are also evident in Mundadan's work. As might be expected, liturgical theology is the area where Syro-Malabar theology is most distinctive, grounded as it is in East Syriac texts as well as a contemporary concern for enculturation. Here, the work of Jacob Vellian is significant.

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