Carpenters and Kings: Western Christianity and the Idea of India

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SKU: 37765 Category: Tags: ,

Author: Sarma Siddhartha

Brand: Penguin Random House

Package Dimensions: 40x214x400

Number Of Pages: 336

Release Date: 25-04-2019

Details: Product Description

‘Here are many and boundless marvels; in this First India begins another world’Jordanus Catalani, the first bishop of the Church of Rome in India, introduced the northern part of the subcontinent to his readers in fourteenth-century Europe in this manner. Two hundred years before the advent of Vasco da Gama, Western Christianity-which comprises the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and Protestant denominations today-had already arrived in India, finding among its diverse people and faiths the Church of the East already at home since the beginning of Christianity. This is an account of how global events, including the Crusades and the Mongol conquests, came together to bring Western Christianity to India.A gripping narrative of two diagonally opposite impulses in Christianity: of humble scholars trying to live the Christian ideal, and of ambitious ecclesiastical empire-builders with more earthly goals. Carpenters and Kings is a tale of Christianity, and, equally, a glimpse of the India which has always existed: a multicultural land where every faith has found a home through the centuries.


“Siddhartha Sarma’s
Carpenters and Kings comes at a critical time in the civilizational history of India when an artificial political discourse presents Islam and Christianity as alien, colonial impositions scarring the pristine religious culture of the land. Sarma’s wide academic sweep captures the maelstrom of wars, great generals and ambitious conquerors in a military history of religions. … Christianity has flourished in India for two millennia, even if its followers remain numerically very small, and concentrated in a few pockets in Kerala and the North East. Its antiquity in the region finds a fresh echo in the Pope vesting the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Catholic churches with the same authority as the Latin Catholic Church brought in by the marine fleets of the Iberian Peninsula and Western Europe. Sarma also makes a point for peaceful co-existence of peoples of differing faiths. This is integral to democracy in India, guaranteed by its secular constitution, and makes the book a worthwhile read, specially, for the people at large targeted by the mass media and fake news on the Internet.” — John Dayal, , Former National President, All India Catholic Union (founded 1919), and Member of the National Integration Council, Government of India

About the Author

Siddhartha Sarma is an author and journalist based in New Delhi. His first book The Grasshopper’s Run, won the Crossword Book Award (2010) and the Sahitya Akademi Award for children’s literature (2011).


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