Portuguese rule in Goa bequeathed a vibrant Catholic community and a rich legacy of Christian texts in Indian vernacular languages. These texts remain scattered: in state or church archives or in private family collections, or worse, they are forgotten or lost in catalogued collections, remaining invisible to scholars and those interested in the history of Christianity in India. This accounts in part for the relative scholarly neglect of this religious tradition in India. In addition, this heritage of texts, dating back to the late sixteenth century, is in grave danger of being lost altogether due to uncertain archival conditions and poor preservation. The goal of this project is therefore two-pronged: firstly, to identify and locate Christian manuscripts in the Konkan region of Marāṭhi and Kōṅkaṇī in state, church, private institutional and family collections, and secondly to start digitising some Indian Christian texts.
The core of this project will be a textual tradition centred in what used to be the troublesome border province of Salcete in the old conquests in Goa, where the Jesuit order made a concerted effort to accommodate local cultural and literary traditions in Marāṭhi and Kōṅkaṇī. Collecting various versions of Christian manuscripts is imperative to gain a better understanding of the process of conversion to Catholicism in early modern India. While hitherto undocumented manuscripts are still to be found, previous independent efforts to locate and catalogue these manuscripts are an important basis for the project, such as those by Fr. Ivo Coelho documenting important primary and secondary sources for the history of Indian Christianity. The project will focus primarily on private, family and church collections.
|Extent:||400 tiff files|
|Scope and Content:||"The text, showing a dozen scribal hands, appears to be the earliest known manuscript of Thomas Stephens opus, pre-dating the publication of the text by almost a decade. It is purported to date to 1609. The book is a narration of the Old and New Testaments and is narrated in the Purana style. The manuscript was found in a cowshed adjacent to the old building of the Pilar Seminary in 1959. Handwritten Manuscript. 506 sheets. Author: Thomas Stephens. Owner: Provenance Unknown. Different scribes as can be deduced from the different handwritings."|
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