Indianization, A Process in the Christian Community of South India

Hekhuis, Lambertus

     It is the purpose of this study to present the growing consciousness of unity and importance within the Christian Church, and the right of a larger participation in the administration of the affairs of the church, as a process of development, stimulated by a desire to be truly Indian. The right of self-expression, in terms that are national and clear to the Indian genius, in forms that are truly indigenous and bear a message of unity with the non-Christian sons of the motherland instead of separation from them, and in allegiances that make possible a participation in the national aspirations, is the insistent demand of the youth of the Indian Church. To this aspiration the term, Indianization, has been given, significant of the process of readjustments that are essential before the Christian Church shall have been recognized as truly Indian. . . . The study is confined to South India for there are being tried the experiments of greater self-government in matters of the Church and Mission Administration as well as in the effort to give a truly Indian interpretation to the Christian forms and services. The gradual transition of power from the Mission to the Church in India through the various steps of devolution, is seen in the advance of Indian opinion as a determining factor in the administrative councils and in the councils of the Church. . . . And thus, except in matters where the issue is so extensive as to partake of a national character or to be related to the great nationalistic movement sweeping through India, the study . . . [is] confined to South India and to the life of the Christian community there. The material has been gathered not only from books and magazines presenting various aspects of the life of India, not only from weekly papers of the Christian and of the non-Christian communities, but also from experience and observation covering a period of eight years' residence abroad, at a time when as a aftermath of the Great War nationalism was expressing itself within and without the church circles. . . . The treatment of the material falls naturally into a survey of the heritage of the past with the structures that have been transplanted from the west, changing under the spirit of growing nationalism; an examination of the process of Indianization as it manifests itself in the Christian community; and a word indicative of the reincorporation of the Christian community into the Indian national life.