From her early years she loved Tamil literature and Indian history, and
studied Indian religions in relation to Christianity. She served as a
Gynecologist and Obstetrician in the Christian Medical College in Vellore,
passion Hospitals in India, Government hospitals and the University of
Mulcat in the Middle East, she settled down in Canada, where she took
'Y and assisted the Sri Lankan refugees in Toronto as a Missioner.
passed her MA in Philosophy, eastern and western, and received the
2012 Distinguished Graduate Student Award. Now she is finally retired
lives with her daughter's family in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, and
I really wish if Dr. Thilagavathi's book,
"A Passage to India: The Apostle Thomas
Goes to Build Mansions" would have existed
then when I was doing my seminary education!
Better late than never!' I would like to see this book added as a prescribed
text in the seminaries and religious institutions.
I am confident this new book would be an added resource to learn,
unlearn and relearn about Christianity's existence in India way long before
India became a British colony! Whenever someone asks me if my for
parents became Christians because of British influence, my ears get so
irritated as if I am hearing a wrong musical note! Hereafter, I have a
resource to give a copy of this book to whoever asks me that question.
Thomas coming to India has been very much a contested "hot button"
topic in the world of Christian academia. There have been three traditions
of the academic thought process regarding Thomas and his connection to
Indian sub-continent. 1. Thomas came to North India 2. Thomas came to
South India 3. Thomas never came to India.
Due credit should be given to Dr. Thilagavathi for her bold adventurous
rhetorical attempt in making a case and standing to the ground of Thomas'
apostolic missionary journey from Jerusalem to India, his presence and
contribution to Indian sub-continent!
This book is neither a fiction nor a canon. This is a culmination of an
ongoing historical documentation of available primary, secondary and oral
history about Apostle Thomas and his ministry and people during that time
in Indian subcontinent! Recently, there has been an increased attempt in
academic circles to accommodate oral history and oral traditions of a
particular context and culture as an important supporting document while
presenting and debating a thesis or antithesis! There are even oral history
methodology disciplines in existence in the past few decades.
When it comes to documenting history, life and anthropology about life
in global south oral history or oral traditions cannot be ignored. It is a huge
disservice to the very cause of why it is being documented in a story telling
Each chapter in this book very well weave through history, chronology,
archaeology, musicology, theology and anthropology of Apostle Thomas,
people and life during those times in middle east and in the silk road, spice
routes, philosophy, literature, arts and music to make firm case of the
coming of Apostle Thomas.
Apostle Thomas' influence can still be seen and experienced from the
daily grind of Syrian Christians aka Thomas Christians in south India! This
is one piece of the many puzzles of Thomas' presence in India.
Dr. Thilagavathi has done justice to bring out these stories all the way
from "Silk Road", "Spice Routes", "Grandeur", "Taxela", "Kerala", and
While reading this draft, myself being a Tamil, I was paying close
attention to the chronology and story line of Apostle Thomas' connection
to the Tamil people.
The Prologue is a preview of the whole book so that the reader will be
ready to start reading the book from the beginning, or will choose to read
whatever interests them.
Each chapter begins with a brief summary of its content and closes with
a statement of what is accomplished in it, and introduces the next chapter.
Chapter one gives a bird’s eye view of the first century world of the
twelve Apostles of Jesus.
Chapter two examines the evidence of legends, traditions, history and
writings available regarding Apostle Thomas in the early centuries.
Chapter three scrutinizes the Apocryphal "Acts of Thomas." As this
apocrypha is our chief source of knowledge about the work of Thomas in
India, it is mostly abbreviated as "the Acts." So readers will know "the
Acts" in this book is not "The Acts of the Apostles" of the New Testament.
Chapters four, five and six are about Thomas' life and work in three
regions of India: 1). The Punjab, the Land of the Five Rivers in north-west
India, (mostly what is modem Pakistan), 2). The Malabar Coast (the land
of mountains) of south-west India, and 3). The Coromandel (Coastal Land)
of the south east coast of India where Thomas was martyred.
Chapter seven is about the eastward spread of Christianity in nearly the
whole of Central Asia and India in the first century.
Chapter eight presents the geographic history of twelve major Christian
centers in the fertile crescent of Asia in the early centuries AD.
Chapters nine and ten review the assessment of secular and Christian
western scholars, while the eleventh chapter inspects the appraisal of
Indian scholars about the reliability of the information regarding Thomas'
coming to India.
Epilogue contains the "Christian Epic of India" (Christian Maha
Bharata) and the "Thomayana" of two million years from Thomas until
The Conclusion synthesizes the historical data, artifacts and
documentary evidence mentioned in the book to present a fact-based
argument for the Apostle Thomas' coming to India.
Chronology gives the dates of events of the Old and New Testaments
relevant to Thomas.
Appendix consists of four features:
The Storyline of the original "Acts of Thomas,"
A historical-etymological tour from ancient Vanchi and Musiri to
modem Kodungaur, and
The Chera Kulasekhara Perusal Rulers of Kerala who favored
Autobiography of the author, how God prepared her and urged her
to author this book.
Bibliography, a list of books for further reading, and the Index
complete the book.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Children’s Books (1707)
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