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Ecumenism in Praxis

A Historical Critique of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church


Joseph Daniel

The Malankara Mar Thoma Church’s ecumenical outlook – marked by twin facets of openness and autonomy – has been the underlying ethos guiding its history, helping it to establish a unique identity. The book retells the church’s ecumenical history dating back to its founding in 52 CE. This study throws ample light on the period between the significant changes of 1889 and the present times. It deals with questions such as: How did the church start practising an ecumenical outlook even before the word ecumenism was coined? Could this have resulted from the church’s interaction with Indian culture that upholds unity in diversity?
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It has been my privilege to pursue my doctoral study at the Departement für Christkatholische Theologie, the Department of the Old Catholic Theology in the University of Bern. This book is the revised version of the doctoral dissertation that I submitted as part of the doctoral requirement to the Departement für Theologie in the University of Bern. When I look back over the four years of my studies at the Departement für Christkatholische Theologie, I have so many things to be grateful for, especially for all the love and support that was shown to me by many devoted people. I thank them all.

This study is a result of the constant guidance, encouragement, inspiration and wholehearted support of Prof. Dr Angela Berlis, my professor and thesis supervisor. She was always available for discussions and it was her timely guidance and valuable corrections that made this project bear fruit. I am indebted to her for her right and thought-provoking suggestions and criticisms. I place on record my gratitude to her for granting me avenues to present papers at various international conferences.

Prof. Dr Christine Lienemann, my second dissertation supervisor and professor, was always forthcoming with inspiring suggestions, constant guidance, encouragements and insightful comments. I extend my gratitude to her for having taken the pain to read and correct the manuscript and for her rigorous and insightful motivation and comments. She opened doors for me to be guest lecturer in theology classes at...

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