Genealogy of the South Indian Deities, by Daniel Jeyaraj

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Genealogy of the South Indian Deities, by Daniel Jeyaraj

Postby admin » Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:44 am

Genealogy of the South Indian Deities: An English translation of Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg's original German manuscript with a textual analysis and glossary [Christian Propaganda]
by Daniel Jeyaraj
© 2005 Daniel Jeyaraj

To Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ-08540 USA, with deep gratitude for appointing me John A. Mackay Professor for World Christianity (2001-2002), and their first Research Professor (2002-2003)

Table of Contents:

• INSIDE FRONT PAGE
• PREFACE
• SYSTEM OF TRANSLITERATION
• ABBREVIATIONS
• INTRODUCTION
o 0.1 Research status
o 0.2 Research aim
o 0.3 Research limits
o 0.4 On translation and transliteration
• CHAPTER 1: ZIEGENBALG AND HALLE PIETISM
o 1.1 Francke: the founder of Halle Pietism
o 1.2 Lange: the defender of Halle Pietism
o 1.3 Freylinghausen: the theologian of Halle Pietism
o 1.4 Halle Pietism and the 'Book of Nature'
• CHAPTER 2: ZIEGENBALG AND THE RESIDUAL IMAGE OF GOD
o 2.1 Discerning the residual image of God
o 2.1.1 Through language study
o 2.1.2 Through letter correspondence
o 2.2 Using the residual image of God
o 2.2.1 By producing Christian literature in Tamil
o 2.2.2 By establishing a Tamil church
o 2.2.3 By founding Tamil schools
o 2.2.4 By developing a particular theology of mission
• CHAPTER 3: ZIEGENBALG'S TEXT OF THE GENEALOGY
• CHAPTER 4: ZIEGENBALG'S SOURCES
o 4.1 German sources on the religions of South India
o 4.2 European interpretation on mythology
o 4.3 South Indian sources on religions
• CHAPTER 5: COMPARING THE MANUSCRIPTS
o 5.1 Copenhagen Version(1713)
o 5.1.1 Introductory remarks
o 5.1.2 Part One: Paraparavastu
o 5.1.3 Part Two: Mummurttis
o 5.1.4 Part Three: Gramadevatas
o 5.1.5 Part Four: Devas
o 5.2 Leipzig Version (ca. 1730)
o 5.2.1 Introductory remarks
o 5.2.2 Textual features
• CHAPTER 6: COMPARING THE PRINTED VERSIONS
o 6.1 Berlin Version (1791)
o 6.1.1 Introductory remarks
o 6.1.2 Textual features
o 6.2 Germann's Version (1867)
o 6.2.1 Introductory remarks
o 6.2.2 Textual features
o 6.3 Metzger's Version (1869)
• CHAPTER 7: CONTINUING RELEVANCE OF THE GENEALOGY
o 7.1 For studying Ziegenbalg's missionary writings
o 7.2 For studying South Indian literary culture
o 7.3 For studying South Indian religions
o 7.4 For intercultural learning
• 8: CONCLUSION
• 9: GLOSSARY
o 9.1 Sanskrit loan words
o 9.2 South Indian words
o 9.3 Other words
o 9.4 Titles of the Tamil books in the Genealogy
• 10: BIBLIOGRAPHY
o 10.1 Primary sources
o 10.1.1 Paper manuscripts
o 10.1.2 Palm leaf manuscripts
o 10.1.3 Printed primary sources
o 10.2 Secondary sources
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Re: Genealogy of the South Indian Deities, by Daniel Jeyaraj

Postby admin » Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:44 am

GENEALOGY OF THE SOUTH INDIAN DEITIES

For the first time, the work Genealogy of the South Indian Deities of the first Protestant missionary to India, Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg (1682-1719), is made accessible to an English readership. Originally published in 1713, the text reveals Ziegenbalg's ethos in the emerging European Enlightenment and his willingness to learn from the South Indians. It contains the original voices of knowledgeable South Indians from various religious backgrounds and presents South India in a vivid, direct and unfiltered way. In this volume, Daniel Jeyaraj edits and presents the German original in an English translation. This is followed by a detailed textual analysis, a glossary and an appendix. This book is invaluable for anyone interested in reliable information about the interactions of Europeans with Hindu and Tamil religion and culture.

Daniel Jeyaraj, is Judson-DeFrietas Associate Professor of World Christianity at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Center, Massachusetts, USA. He is an Indian theologian with a profound interest in the intercultural relationship of Christian faith, the value of cross-cultural learning and inter-disciplinary teaching and research. He is a leading authority on the study of the Tranquebar Mission and the emergence of Protestant churches in eighteenth-century India.
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Re: Genealogy of the South Indian Deities, by Daniel Jeyaraj

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PREFACE

Cross-cultural learning is vital for a healthy pluralistic society because it tells how human beings create, codify, preserve, pass on, receive, interpret and recreate interrelated symbols and functional meaning in their respective social, political, economic and religious life setting. Cross-cultural learning requires sensitivity, respect and acceptance of the lifestyle of others and their sociocultural system that protects and fosters human life and does not endorse violence and injustice of any kind.

After my first encounter with Christian faith (around 1980) I was hearing the allegation that Christian missionaries from Europe were damaging the Indian cultural fabric. I wanted to know the legitimacy of such contentions and decided to study the cultural contact among the first Protestant missionaries and South Indians during the early eighteenth century. During the course of my research I have recovered numerous manuscripts -- written by the Tamils and the European missionaries in Tamil, German, and English languages. These manuscripts are living testimonies of the socio-cultural life of their period. Of them, B. Ziegenbalg's original German manuscript Genealogy of the South Indian Deities (1713) is particularly significant. It is an intelligent, honest and fascinating witness to the religious and cultural interaction between the German Pietist Ziegenbalg and the Tamils in the pre-colonial context. It deals with the values, modes and organizations of the religious behavior of the South Indians as seen, documented and interpreted by Ziegenbalg. His study constitutes a superb example of not only representing a European view about the South Indians, but also of preserving memories, voices and reflections of Tamils about their local traditions.

Numerous persons have helped me complete this study. I thank Dr. Thomas Gillespie, the President of Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS), for appointing me the John A. Mackay Professor for World Christianity (2001-2002). Besides regular teaching assignment, I had time to continue my research. The cordial working atmosphere in the Department of Mission, Ecumenics and History of Religion (MEHR) has enriched me. I thank all my esteemed colleagues at the MEHR for their collegiality and support. I am especially grateful to Dr. Richard F. Young, Elmer K. and Ethel R. Timby Associate Professor of the History of Religions at PTS, for constructive criticism and advice. His knowledge of Sanskrit language and literature has helped me improve the glossary greatly. I am thankful to Dr. Thomas Gillespie and his administrative team for appointing me Research Professor (2002-2003) and thus enabling me to concentrate on my research. I remain grateful to Dr. Max Lynn Stackhouse, the Stephan Colwell Professor of Christian Ethics at PTS for the encouragement and insightful dialogues. I remain grateful to Dr. Thomas Muller-Bhalke, the Director of the Francke Foundations in Halle (Saale), Germany, for his gracious permission to base this English edition on original German version entitled Genealogie der malabarischen Gotter -- Edition der Originalfassung von 1713 mit Einleitung, Analyse und Glossar (Neue Halleschie Berichte -- Vol. III, Halle (Saale): Verlag der Franckeschen Stiftungen, 2003). However, this English edition interprets Ziegenbalg's contribution from a different perspective. Further, I thank the officers of the Archives of the Francke Foundations, the Library of the Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran Mission in Germany and the Royal Library in Copenhagen in Denmark for helping me consult the unique manuscripts. Much of the work depended on the wonderful resources of these libraries. I am also grateful to the officers of the Tamil Library at the Department of Indology and Tamil Studies of the University of Cologne in Germany for allowing me to use their library resources to identify the earliest prints of certain Tamil books. I particularly express my gratitude to Mr. R. Prakash, the Director for Cataloguing at the Roja Muthaiah Research Library in West Mogapair in Chennai, for giving me valuable information about the earliest printed versions of Tamil books.

English is not my main language. Hence, I am grateful to all friends and colleagues who have helped me improve my English writing style. I thank Ms Denise Schwalb, Faculty Secretary at PTS and Ms Catherine Campbell in Princeton for reading parts of my manuscripts and making valuable suggestions. My daughter Rebecca Jeyaraj read the entire manuscript and made several stylistic suggestions. I am particularly thankful to Dr. Amalia Gnanadesikan at the New Jersey Indian Church at Princeton for her editorial help. I am also grateful to my friend Dr. Matthias Gockel in Wittenberg/Germany for carefully comparing my English translation with the German original. As a German he could point out certain shades of meaning that have clarified the meaning of Ziegenbalg's statements. I acknowledge my debt to Dr. Robert Eric Frykenberg, Professor-Emeritus of History and South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, for constant encouragement and several years of academic guidance. I remain grateful to Professor John Carman at Harvard Divinity School for his valuable suggestions. While several scholars have helped me, the limitations of this study is not theirs, but solely mine. I am grateful to Routledge Curzon for publishing this work in their series Studies in Asian Religion. My thanks, lastly and most of all, are due to my wife Sheela Jeyaraj and our daughters Rebecca, Elisabeth and Ruth for their constant understanding and continuous support.

Andover Newton Theological School
Newton Centre, MA-024S9, U.S.A.
July 2004
Daniel Jeyaraj
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Re: Genealogy of the South Indian Deities, by Daniel Jeyaraj

Postby admin » Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:45 am

SYSTEM OF TRANSLITERATION

[x]
Tamil vowels

[x]
Tamil consonants
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Re: Genealogy of the South Indian Deities, by Daniel Jeyaraj

Postby admin » Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:45 am

ABBREVIATIONS

AFSt/B: Portrait collection at the Archives of the Francke Foundations in Halle (Saale), Germany.
AFSt/HB: Manuscript collection at the Archives of the Francke Foundations in Halle (Saale), Germany.
AFSt/M: Manuscript letters at the Archives of the Francke Foundations in Halle (Saale), Germany.
AFSt/P TAM: Tamil palm leaf manuscript collection at the Archives of the Francke Foundations in Halle (Saale), Germany.
BCE: Before Common Era, i.e., Before Christ.
Berlin Version: Beschreibung der Religion und heiligen Gebrauche der Malabarischen Hindous, Berlin: 1791.
CE: Common Era, in the place of AD (Latin: anna domini, 'in the year of the Lord [Jesus Christ]'
Cf. or cf.: Latin: confer, "refer, see" the book.
Con.: Continuation, i.e., parts/sections of the Halle Reports (HR).
Copenhagen Version: Copy A, i.e., Ledr. 424.4° (mentioned in the bibliography).
Copy A: Ziegenbalg's manuscript of the Genealogy sent to Copenhagen, i.e., Ledr. 424.4°. It is the Copenhagen Version.
Copy B: Ziegenbalg's manuscript of the Genealogy sent to Halle (1713)
Copy B1: La Croze may have had a copy made from Copy B and kept it in Berlin. The editor of the Berlin Version might have used this copy. Now it is lost.
Copy B2: Francke had a first copy made from the Copy B and sent it by ship to Tranquebar. The ship sank and the manuscript was lost.
Copy B3: Francke had a second copy made from the Copy B and sent it to Tranquebar. It reached Tranquebar in 1730.
Copy B4: C.T. Walter seems to have prepared this version from Copy B3 (ca. 1731). This is the Leipzig Version of the Genealogy, i.e., Leipzig, D 361.
Copy C: Ziegenbalg's manuscript of the Genealogy kept in Tranquebar. B. Schultze took it to Madras in 1726. Then it was lost.
DEIC: Danish East India Company
ed.: edited by or edition
Ed. and Eds.: Editor and Editors
Germann's Version: Genealogie der Malabarischen Gotter aus eigenen Schriften und Briefen der Heiden zusammengetragen, ed. W. Germann, Madras und Erlangen: 1867.
Gr.: Greek
HR: Halle Reports, i.e., Der Konigl. Missionarien aus Ost-Indien eingesandter Ausfuhrlichen Berichten.
Koln: The Tamil Library at the Department of Indology and Tamil Studies of the University of Cologne in Germany.
L: Leaf, i.e., each page of the Copenhagen Version.
Lat.: Latin
Leipzig Version: Copy B c, i.e., Leipzig, D 361 (mentioned in the bibliography).
LELM: Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran Mission, Leipzig, Germany, (founded in Dresden in 1836 as "Evangelisch-lutherischen Missionsgesellschaft in Sachsen" and shifted to Leipzig in 1847).
lit.: literally
Metzger's Version: Genealogy of the South-Indian Gods, translated, edited and published by G.J. Metzger in Madras in 1869.
n. p.: no name of the publishing company
n. P.: no place of publication of a book
OIOC: Oriental India Office Collection, British Library, London
r: Latin: recto folio: "standing on the front side of a manuscript document"
RMRL: Roja Muthaiah Research Library at West Mogapair in Chennai Skt.: Sanskrit
South Indian Society: Ziegenbalg's Malabarisches Heidenthum, ed. W. Caland, 1926.
SPCK: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London (1698).
SPG: The Society for Propagating the Gospel in the Foreign Parts, London (1701).
Tamil Library: Ziegenbalg's Bibliotheca Malabarica, 1880.
TamLet: Tamil Letters, i.e., Ziegenbalg's Malabarische Correspondenz, 1712.
Trans.: Translator
v: Latin: verso folio: "standing on the reverse side of a manuscript document"
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Re: Genealogy of the South Indian Deities, by Daniel Jeyaraj

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INTRODUCTION

This study of South Indian deities is based on a unique, hitherto unknown German manuscript that belongs to the pre-colonial era. It has preserved valuable firsthand information on numerous socio-religious traditions of the South Indians at the beginning of the eighteenth century. It tells about their Bhakti ('ardent devotion'). It also narrates how the Bhaktas ('devotees') express their devotion to a chosen deity and how they in turn are completely overwhelmed by their deity.

South Indian Bhakti traditions attracted the attention of several European scholars. One of them is Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg (1682-1719). On July 9, 1706 he reached the Danish colony Tranquebar (i.e., the Tamil village Tarankampati, 'hamlet on the seashore,' about 250 km southeast of Chennai, earlier Madras) and began to live among the Tamil people for the rest of his life. He learned to speak their language, read their literature, study their culture and observe their religious practices. He documented his insights for the benefit of posterity. Now they form a rich treasure trove for the study of South India in the eighteenth century. Ziegenbalg's wide-ranging contributions to the study of South Indian culture and religions earned him the fame of being the first German Dravidologist (cf. Lehmann, 1952/1953, 149, Gensichen, 1975, 159 and Leifer, 1977, 38). His Genealogy of the South Indian Deities (written in 1713, henceforth abbreviated as the Genealogy) constitutes his magnum opus.

0.1 Research status

The manuscript of the Genealogy remained in the Royal Library in Copenhagen and was not known to scholars, until the author of this present work found it in 1993. When Karl Graul (1814-1864), who was the first Director of the Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran Mission (LELM), toured South India from July 1849 to April 1853, he found a manuscript copy of the Genealogy and brought it to Leipzig. But his sudden death in 1864 thwarted his plan of publishing it. However, his student, Wilhelm Germann (1840-1902), who became a LELM-missionary, took the manuscript to South India in 1865. He prepared his own version of the Genealogy and published it in 1867. Two years later, missionary G.J. Metzger claimed to have translated Germann's version of the Genealogy, but his version is so distorted Ziegenbalg's text is hardly recognizably. Stephen Neill (1900-1984) noticed these changes. He assumed that the original manuscript of the Genealogy was still in Halle (Saale), Germany and expressed his views on Metzger's edition in the following manner:

"No one today can read what Ziegenbalg actually wrote without making the pilgrimage to Halle and consulting the original manuscript. The first editor [i.e., W. Germann] felt himself more concerned with utility than with fidelity, and took liberties with the text such as no editor today would venture to take.

[ ... But the translator of Germann's Version of the Genealogy,1 the Reverend G.J. Metzger of the Free Church of Scotland Mission in Madras, allowed himself even greater liberties. He has made omissions, mainly, as he complains, of unnecessary repetitions. He has introduced [large sections from the works of R. Caldwell, H.H. Wilson, J. A. Dubois and M. Muller .... ] As a consequence of all these editorial changes it is difficult for the reader to detect omissions, to identify changes and additions, and to be sure of the extent to which he is in contact with the mind and the words of the original writer.
The world of scholarship would be enriched by the publication of an accurate German text, and still more by that of a reliable English translation."

(Neill, 1985, 435).


As a result, neither Germann's nor Metzger's versions of the Genealogy received any due[???] recognition.

Some scholars have maintained that a thorough examination of Ziegenbalg's multifaceted contributions to religious and missiological studies will provide fresh insights. For example, Willem Caland (1859-1932), a Dutch indologist, felt that it would be very difficult for a person who does not understand Tamil well, to edit and evaluate the works of Ziegenbalg because that person would not be able to verify the numerous Tamil quotations (Ziegenbalg, 1926, 5). And Arno Lehmann (1900-1984), an eminent historian of the Tranquebar Mission, desired that someone write a detailed monograph on Ziegenbalg's insight, description and theological evaluation of the religions and society in South India (Lehmann, 1956,47).

0.2 Research aim

This study, which consists of seven chapters, is interdisciplinary in nature. It recovers the original text of Ziegenbalg's Genealogy and thus evaluates his contributions to the study of South Indian religions. The first chapter examines the influences that shaped Ziegenbalg's thinking and lifestyle in Europe. The second chapter analyses the outcome of Ziegenbalg's efforts to discern and use the residual image of God in the South Indians. The third chapter gives an English translation of the manuscript text of the Genealogy that is kept at the Royal Library in Copenhagen. Simultaneously, it compares the textual characteristics of the manuscript of the Genealogy in Leipzig, and documents the variations in the footnotes. The fourth chapter discusses the different German, European and Tamil sources that Ziegenbalg used (or might have used) to write his Genealogy. The fifth chapter investigates the history and characteristics of the two manuscripts (in Copenhagen and in Leipzig). The sixth chapter proceeds to explain the distinctive nature of the three printed versions of the Genealogy (i.e., Berlin Version of 1791, Germann's Version of 1867 and Metzger's Version of 1869). All these versions tell their own story that exhibits particular textual changes, omissions and additions. The focus is on the texts, and also on the process of their creation. The last chapter brings out the continuing relevance of the Genealogy. The glossary contains all the non-European words that are found in the Genealogy. The transliteration of the Tamil words follows the modern system of transliteration as found in the Tamil Lexicon (published by the University of Madras during 1924-1936; 2nd ed., in 1982). After each glossary entry, the page numbers of the manuscript in Copenhagen follow. The etymological meanings of the Tamil words are briefly explained. For this purpose, the dictionaries by Monier-Williams (1899), Pinkala Munivar (1968), Mayrhofer (1956-1980) and Mantala Purutar (1996) have been consulted.

0.3 Research limits

This study does not attempt to discuss the human, local, national, universal and divine aspects of the religious stories. It also does not include a comprehensive theoretical discussion about the multidimensional aspects of symbols, metaphors, metaphysics, psychology, and philosophy of the religious tales. Similarly, it does not harmonize the contradictory versions of the same religious stories that are found in the Genealogy because Ziegenbalg's correspondents do not think of the apparent contradictions as rational differences, but as divine Vilaiyattus (= Skt. Lilas, 'divine sports, game, past time').

Some topics, depending upon their relevance, are treated in greater depth than others are. No attempt is made to describe the historical and philosophical aspects of the South Indian religions, but the content of the Genealogy is briefly evaluated. Moreover, it does not refer to all the scholarly investigations and to the large corpus of materials available on south Indian religions, but incorporates only those scholarly discussions that pertain to the understanding of the Genealogy. Similarly, the numerous episodes of epic and puranic mythology that are found in the Genealogy are not compared with their occurrence in Sanskrit epics and Puranas. The detailed works by Hopkins (1915), Van Buitenen (1973- 1978), Von Stietencron (1992) and Dikshitar (1995) provide valuable information to identify and study these episodes. Finally, this study does not claim to be conclusive, but only attempts to present Ziegenbalg's understanding of South Indian religious traditions. Thus, it seeks to encourage further research on pertinent topics.

0.4 On translation and transliteration

The English translation seeks to be as true as possible to the original German text of the Genealogy in Copenhagen. Where a literal equivalent is not appropriate, it is given in the []-brackets. The structure of the text, i.e., the paragraphs, numbering of the deities and listing of festivals, is kept as in the original manuscript. The English translation orients itself to the German text. The beginning of a new page is indicated in a square bracket. Ziegenbalg's text contains neither quotation marks (i.e., " ") nor inverted commas (i.e., ") to distinguish between direct and indirect speech or a quote from a book or letter. However, in this translation the quotation marks are used for main quotes or reproductions of direct and indirect speech; but if there is a reproduction of a conversation within a larger quote, inverted commas are employed.

Sometimes Ziegenbalg ends a quote from Tamil letters or books with the Latin abbreviation ''pp.'', i.e., perge perge meaning "keep on, continue, and so forth." This English translation indicates it with the abbreviation "etc."

The Genealogy does not always differentiate between Paraparavastu and its manifestations as Siva or Brahman. To maintain the distinction of each deity, this translation follows the following pattern: Whenever Siva is perceived as the Paraparavastu, it is indicated with the neutral Tamil word Civam ('godness, the highest stage of a divine being, the Pure Intelligence'). If the Paraparavastu is represented as a supreme neutral being, then the Sanskrit word Brahman ('the one self-existing being, the Universal Soul') is used.[???!!!]

Goodness vs Godness - What's the difference?

goodness
English: (wikipedia goodness)
Noun: (uncountable) The state or characteristic of being good; (countable) The good, nutritional, healthy part or content of something; (uncountable, euphemistic) God. Thank goodness that the war is over!; (Christianity) The moral qualities which constitute Christian excellence; moral virtue; The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.

godness
Not English: Godness has no English definition. It may be misspelled.

-- Goodness vs Godness - What's the difference?, by wikidiff.com

The text that Ziegenbalg most often quotes to illustrate Indian monotheism was already used by de Nobili for the very same purpose: the Civavakkiyam [Sivavakkiyam], a fourteenth-century collection of poems by Civavakkiyar who belongs to the Tamil Siddha tradition.

Although the Tamil tradition speaks of eighteen Siddhas and posits a line of wandering saints and sannyasis from Tirumular (sixth century) to Tayumanavar (1706-44), most of the noted Siddhas flourished between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries (Kailasapathy 1987:387). From the beginning, the antibrahmanical and antihierarchical tendency of Siddha writings was prominent
, as in Tirumular's oft-quoted lines, "Caste is one and God is one" (p. 386). But the God referred to here is not exactly the one whom de Nobili and Ziegenbalg worshipped, and this saying does not signify "mankind is one and God is one." Rather, as Kailasapathy explains, Tirumular meant that "insofar as religious worship was concerned, all castes are equal and the only god is Shiva" (p. 386). Yet this movement fought against "the extreme antagonism between the Vedic religions (Shaivism, Vaishnavism) and the non-Vedic or heterodox religions (Buddhism, Jainism and the Ajivika faith)" and tried to overcome virulent sectarianism of various sorts. Its poetry, written in colloquial style, was attractive and quite popular. For example, verse 1533 of Tirumular reads:
Those who follow the six religions know him not
Nor is he confined to those six faiths.
Seek and having sought cogitate in your mind
And then with our doubt you will gain salvation. (p. 387)

Of the more than fifty names associated with the way of the Siddhas (Siddha marga), that of the author of the Civavakkiyam [Sivavakkiyam] (Aphorisms on Shiva) is best known. The author of these aphorisms, Civavakkiyar or Sivavakkiyar, is "without doubt the most powerful poetic voice in the entire galaxy of the Siddhas" and is best known for his skill in criticizing and ridiculing Hindu orthodoxy (p. 387-89). Though not forming a well-defined school of thought, the Siddhas "challenged the very foundations of medieval Hinduism: the authority of the Shastras, the validity of rituals and the basis of the caste system" (p. 389). According to Zvelebil, "almost all of them manifest a protest, often in very strong terms, against the formalities of life and religion; denial of religious practices and beliefs of the ruling classes" (1973:8). Tamil Siddhas were basically "all theists and believed in a transcendental God and his grace towards man," but they were not "idol-worshippers or believers in a supreme Person"; rather, they "believed in a supreme Abstraction" that they referred to as civam (Kailasapathy 1987:393).
The recurrent use by the Siddhas of the word civam (an abstract noun meaning "goodness," "auspiciousness" and the highest state of God, in which he exists as pure intelligence) in preference to the common term civan (meaning Shiva) makes this point very clear. In other words, they believed in an abstract idea of Godhead rather than a personal God. (p. 393)

Among the three Hindu religious paths to salvation (jnana, the way of knowledge; karma, the way of work; and bhakti, the way of devotion), the Siddhas emphasized the path of knowledge (p. 393). In the light of such explanations, it is easy to see why de Nobili and Ziegenbalg felt attracted to such poetry and in particular to Civavakkiyar who dared to refute deeply entrenched dogmas such as transmigration:
Milk does not return to the udder,
Likewise butter can never become butter-milk;
The sound of the conch does not exist once it is broken;
The blown flower, the fallen fruit do not go back to the tree;
The dead are never born again, never! (p. 401)

Siddha Civavakkiyar's work promotes civam mysticism and is critical not only of the worship of images and brahmans but also of the Vedas and Vedic practices. Zvelebil translates a typical verse as follows:
In the Four Eternal Vedas,
In the study and reading of scripts,
In sacred ashes and in Holy Writs
And muttering of prayers
You will not find the Lord!
Melt with the Heart Inside
and proclaim the Truth.
Then you will join the Light --
Life without servitude. (Zvelebil 1973:83)

Such Tamil Siddhas belonged to the class of men that Ziegenbalg referred to as "Gnanigol or the Wise" (Ziegenbalg 2003:40). "Gnanigol" is Ziegenbalg's transcription of the Tamil nanikal, which is the plural of nani (Skt. jnanin, a wise or knowing one). They are saints in the fourth path (pada) of Shaivite Siddhanta agama. Ziegenbalg called these four paths "Tscharigei" (carya, proper conduct), "Kirigei" (kriya, rites), "Jogum" (yoga, discipline), and "Gnanum" (jnana, knowledge). The Gnanigol are most frequently mentioned by Ziegenbalg, and quotations from their texts make up the bulk of his evidence for Indian monotheism. In the first chapter of his Genealogy, where he discusses the pure Indian conception of monotheism, Ziegenbalg explains:
One still finds here and there a few who destroy all idolatry [Gotzen-Wesen] and venerate this sole divine Being without images. Among them are those called Gnanigol or the Wise who have written only such books that lead exclusively to a virtuous life wherein only the sole God is to be worshipped. The most excellent among such books are: I) The Tschiwawaikkium [Civa-vakkiyam [Sivavakkiyam]], in which polytheism along with many heathen errors is totally rejected in thoughtful verses and the worship of a single God is advocated. 2) The Diruwakkuwer,7 which treats of morality. 3) Nidisharum8 which presents some rules of life in in the form of parables. 4) Gnanawenpa9 which contains wisdom teachings and testimonies of the one God. (Ziegenbalg 2003:40)


But as early as 1762, Abbe Mignot made the connection betweeen the Ezour-vedam and the monotheistic "gnanigol."37 In one of his papers on the ancient philosophers of India, he described these Indians as modern successors of the ancient Brachmans. They are "intimately convinced of God's oneness" and are regarded as "the sages and saints of India" who "openly reject the cult of idols and all superstitious practices of the nation in order to worship only God whom they call 'Being of beings' [l'etre des etres]" (Mignot 1768:218-19). In 1771 Anquetil-Duperron published his opinion that the text's author was one of these "Ganigueuls" or "gnanigol" described by Ziegenbalg and La Croze (Anquetil-Duperron 1771:I.lxxxv), and this opinion was later supported in the preface to the Ezour-vedam's first primed edition of 1778 where Sainte- Croix informed the readers:
Everywhere in the Ezour-Vedam we find the principal articles of the doctrine of the Ganigueuls ... and therefore one cannot doubt that it was a philosopher of this sect who composed this work. A man immersed in the darkness of idolatry reports, under the name of Biache, the most accepted fables of India and exposes the entire system of popular theology of this country. The philosopher Chumontou rejects this mythology as contrary to good sense, or because he has not read of it in the ancient books, and expounds the fabulous accounts in a moral sense .... Responding to the questions of Biache, the Ganigueul philosopher explains the doctrine of the unity of God, creation, the nature of the soul, the dogma of punishment and reward in a future state, the cult appropriate for the supreme being, the duties of all states, ere. (Sainte-Croix 1778:I.146-47)...

Though Sainte-Croix did not ascribe the text to a missionary, he regarded this teaching as quite different from that of the Vedam and explained that "Chumontou pretends to reach the Vedam by establishing his own system, and he does not bother to prove if it is really conform to the doctrine of that sacred book" (I.149). Such doubts led to the following conclusion about the text's authorship and age: "This work which contains the exposition of the principles of the philosophy of the Ganigueuls, as opposed to the actual beliefs of Indian people, can certainly not be very old" (1.150).

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App

[Sainte-Croix' interpretation of the EzV combines acceptance of Anquetil's handwritten note in the margin of his EzV manuscript (see p. 8) with his readings on the philosophy of the Indian "Ganigueuls." He quotes some of La Croze's statements on these philosophers, and subsequently (1.147-8) analyzes the dialogue between Biache and Chumontou as follows: "A man shrouded in the darkness of idolatry reports, under the name of Biache, the fables that are most highly sanctioned in India, and exhibits the whole array of popular theology of that country. The philosopher Chumontou rejects this mythology as contrary to good sense, or because he has not read it in the ancient books, and he gives moralistic explanations for the fabulous stories that are based on facts which he has to admit. In his answers to Biache's questions the Ganigueul philosopher teaches his own beliefs on the unity of God, creation, the nature of the soul, the dogma of suffering and reward, the worship that is due to the Supreme being, the duties of all ranks, etc. He pays special attention to those absorbed in pure contemplation; in this respect his principles are in perfect agreement with those of the Samanaeans and the ancient sectarians of Budda." Sainte-Croix is much more critical of Voltaire. He quotes long passages from him, and comments on them. His main point of disagreement is (1.150) that. since the EzV opposes the teachings of the Ganigueuls to present beliefs of the Indian people, "it certainly cannot be very old."...

Sainte-Croix accepts what is said on the title page: "translated by a Brahmin." He adds (1778:1.x) that, although he has revised the style of the translation, he has not corrected all mistakes "to preserve for the Indian author that foreign aura which inspires confidence in the readers, and will convince them of our trustworthiness." As far as the author of the original is concerned, he speaks (1.165) of "Chumontou, the author of the Ezour-Vedam." We have seen earlier that he also had specific ideas on Chumontou's philosophic affiliation. Hence his conclusion (1.146): "We find all over the Ezour-Vedam the principle tenets of the doctrine of the Ganiguels ..., there is consequently no doubt that the book has been composed by a philosopher of that sect."

-- Ezourvedam: A French Veda of the Eighteenth Century, Edited with an Introduction by Ludo Rocher

The book that leads this list, the Civavakkiyam [Sivavakkiyam], is also the one that Ziegenbalg most frequently adduced in his discussions of Indian monotheism. La Croze's argument for Indian monotheism, too, is almost entirely illustrated by quotations from Ziegenbalg's rendering of verses by Civavakkyar.10

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App

Ziegenbalg usually distinguishes the plural from the singular noun by adding the suffix-kal. For example, the plural form of the word Catti (Skt. Sakti, 'energy') is Cattikal (= Skt. saktis). However, when the Tamil masculine singular noun ends with the suffix -ar, transcribed by Ziegenbalg as -er, as in the word Piramanar (Skt. Brahmin), Ziegenbalg has followed the grammatical rule of the German language: the plural form of a masculine singular noun with a definite article such as 'der Bramaner' would become 'die Bramaner.' Sometimes this way of indicating a plural noun is confusing. Hence, this translation adds the suffix -s to all plural nouns (e.g., Saktis or Brahmins).

Ziegenbalg often interprets the Puranas ('ancient traditional narratives') as historical narratives, but understands their content as fables. It created a problem for him as he was unable to reconcile his understanding of history with that of fables.[???] To clarify Ziegenbalg's German translation renders the term 'Historien-Bucher' (i.e., history books) simply as 'story books.'

Ziegenbalg considers any non-Christian sacred scripture of the South Indians as Gesetz ('law'). As a professing and practicing Lutheran he seems to have followed Martin Luther's teaching on the relationship between 'the Law and the Gospel.' Ziegenbalg views the entire Christian scripture as the gospel ('good news'). Therefore, in his view, all the non-Christian scriptures constitute the law. Wherever the word Gesetz occurs, it is translated as 'law.' When the meaning is unclear, it is followed with an explanation in the []-bracket.

Ziegenbalg translates the Tamil terms Pisaca and Pey as Teufel ('devil,' L 170 r). To show the difference of usage, the word Teufel is translated as devil, but if the term consists of the word Pey, then it is retained. Following the convention of his day, Ziegenbalg did not separate the various words in the long Tamil names of the Peys (L 172 r - L 174 r). For the sake of easy reading and clarity, the words are separated in this translation. Ziegenbalg's interpretation of the meaning of these names is translated in the text; sometimes it differs from the actual meaning, which is then given in the glossary.

Ziegenbalg translates the Gramadevata ('village goddess/ deity') as Schutz-Gottin ('protective goddess'). Keeping to the actual meaning of this term and Ziegenbalg's understanding of it, the word Gramadevata is rendered as a protective goddess. The Tamil people however understand them as Kirama kaval teyvams ('the deities that protect the village').

Ziegenbalg translates the term Mantra in German as Gebets-Formel ('prayer formula,' L 258 r). The Sanskrit word mantra can mean, among other things, a saying, a sacrificial formula, a prayer, a sacred utterance to invoke a deity, a magical spell and an incantation. Therefore, in this translation the phrase Gebets-Formel is rendered as prayer.

Ziegenbalg seems to have translated the Tamil word Cattiram ('wayside shelter') as Rast-Haus (wayside 'rest house', e.g. L 259 v). It was a charitable institution, it is especially meant for giving comfort, rest and free shelter for weary travelers and wandering religious mendicants. In this translation it is rendered as a rest house.

Ziegenbalg translated the Sanskrit word Rsi as a prophet, probably because the Hebrew and Sanskrit root words for a prophet connote the idea of 'seeing' (L 185 v). Ziegenbalg's readers who were familiar with the Old Testament tradition of the prophets, would immediately understand the term 'prophet.' However, Ziegenbalg thinks of the Rsi as a saintly wise man. Hence, in this translation Rsi is rendered as 'sage.'[???]

Ziegenbalg seems to have translated the Sanskrit loan words Tavacu or Tavam (= Skt. Tapas) or Tavayakam (= Skt. Tapoyaga, 'performance of religious austerities as a sacrifice') as BuBe ('penitence, repentance, penalty,' L 209 v-L 211r). However, BuBe and tavam mean two different things. Tavam includes the concepts of a severe, austere life of an ascetic denying all bodily comforts and renouncing worldly possessions. Ziegenbalg defined the understanding of BuBe as "a strict way of life, in which the [human] body is subjected to severe austerities, continuous fasting and sleeplessness." It also involves "giving away a large amount of money, forsaking kith and kin, wealth and other bodily comforts." It further requires the person to be secluded, undertake pilgrimages and wander around begging food for sustenance (TamLet, 359). Thus, the practice of BuBe implies strict religious austerities and the leading of a chaste life. Ziegenbalg was aware that those who were performing Tavam were not repenting from their sins, or had inflicted punishment on themselves as in BuBe, but were engaged in merit-making activities and religious austerities because they were desirous of obtaining great boons. Hence, in this translation the word BuBe is rendered as religious austerities.

Ziegenbalg probably translates the Sanskrit word jati ('birth') as Geschlecht ('birth, generation, family, and race,' commonly known as a caste). He has known ninety-six caste groups in Tranquebar, and believed that each caste had its specific genealogy, birth-based occupation, endogamy, and food habits (HR, I, 7. Con., 342). Hence, the word Geschlecht is translated as a caste. Seldom is it rendered as a generation (L 254 v).

The word Malabar too needs brief explanation (cf. older discussion in Lehmann, 1955,37-41). Ziegenbalg attempted to define the meaning of the word Malabar in this way:

"In their language [i.e., Tamil] the word Malabarians refers to the Tamil people. They are a great nation. Their language is widely spoken. It is not known, from where they got the name Malabarians. Perhaps it comes from the southern coast, which is also known as the Pepper-Coast or Malabar-Coast. In Tamil it is known as Malayalam. It is certain that the Portuguese considered not only the inhabitants of Malayalam [i.e., present day Kerala], but also the inhabitants of the entire coast as Malabarians because they assumed that all of them spoke the same language. This is the reason that, afterwards, all the Europeans consistently considered the inhabitants [of South India] as Malabarians. Likewise, for the sake of historical continuity, we [the missionaries] too have used this term [i.e., Malabarian] in all our writings for the Europeans about them [i.e., Tamil people, or rather South Indians]."

(TamLet, 429.)


It is evident that Ziegenbalg deals primarily with the religions practiced by the Tamil people. However, his presentation of religious life can stand for the entire Southern regions of India where, at present, Tamil, Telugu, Kanada and Malayalam are spoken. Ziegenbalg records the following as he describes the South Indian geography:

"In India the South Indian religions are spread out far and wide. They include many kingdoms, islands, peoples and languages. They reach throughout the Coromandel Coast up to Bengal, because in the books [written by South Indians] one can read many stories about the events, which were said to have happened in Bengal. [ ... ] South Indian religions extend to the entire island of Ceylon; much is told of this island in the books [of South Indians). They extend from Ceylon in the South to the Mogul Kingdom in the North. All Indians [literally: heathen, in this context: non-Muslims] in the Mogul Kingdom belong to South Indian religions; even though they differ in several ways and are divided into sectarian groups, they worship the same deities. Among the vast number of South Indian religions two are important: the first one is known as Sivacamayam ['religion of Siva'] and [the second] Visnusamayam ['religion of Visnu']."

(Ziegenbalg, 1926, 23


Thus Ziegenbalg was aware of the presence of several South Indian religions. He also knew that the names of deities mentioned in the Genealogy are found not only among the Tamil people, but also among all South Indians. In the Genealogy (e.g. L 46 v) he referred to the three ancient dynasties of the Ceras, Colas and Pantiyas that ruled all of South India. Similarly, one of Ziegenbalg's correspondents also believed that the South Indian religions (lit: the Malabarian religion) and all their sectarian branches were seen in the three kingdoms, namely Colamantalam, Pantiyamantalam and Tontamantalam (HR, 1,7. Con., 377). Hence, the word Malabar is used as a synonym for South India. But when the word Malabar refers to the religions, then it is translated as South Indian religions. However, when it refers to a particular race, then it relates to the Tamil people. Hence, both Germann and Metzger interpreted the word "Malabarian" as referring to the Tamil people (cf. L 34 r with Germann, 1967, 40, and Metzger, 1869, 34). In this context, it should be noted that Ziegenbalg did not employ the words "Hindu" or "Hinduism" because they were not in use at that time. As a result, this study also does not use them to designate the South Indian religions.

Ziegenbalg's word Heyde ('heathen') relates to a person who was a non-Christian and also a South Indian. Originally, this word was used in Europe to designate a person who did not belong to the monotheistic religions of the Jews, Christians or Muslims. However, after Christianity was introduced in a new place, the word Heyde got another meaning: it denoted anyone who did not become a Christian. It did not mean an irreligious or uncivilized person. For example, South Indians demonstrated a remarkable knowledge about god and numerous other deities. They also lived a civil life that followed highly developed codes of conduct. However, as a missionary, Ziegenbalg believed that the South Indian understanding of the Ultimate Reality did not correspond to the concept of the God revealed in the Bible. Hence, he also used this word to designate both the South Indians and their society.

Similarly, Ziegenbalg's use of the word Heydenthum refers more to a society rather than to heathenism because his description of this word includes not only belief systems, but also the lifestyle of the South Indians. Hence, this word is translated as the South Indian society.

The actual title of Ziegenbalg's manuscript reads: Genealogy of the Malabarian Gods. However, the text deals not only with gods, but also with several goddesses, and other supernatural beings such as giants, devils etc. Hence, this translation employs the title Genealogy of the South Indian Deities.

Tamil words are transliterated according to the system of transliteration found in the aforesaid Tamil Lexicon. Ziegenbalg uses only Tamil words and does not know that many religious words are borrowed from Sanskrit. Hence, in this translation the following method is adopted: if a Tamil word has an exact equivalent in Sanskrit, then the Sanskrit word is mentioned. But, if the Tamil nouns consist of Sanskrit and Tamil words, then only the Tamil form is given.

However, Ziegenbalg's original Tamil words are retained in the glossary that is found at the end of this work. Though Tamil does not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters, this translation begins all proper nouns with an uppercase letter.

Ziegenbalg has used both the grave accent (" ' " , as in 'a') as well as the acute accent (a' ' a' , as in 'a' ) to show long and short vowels. His use of these accents is neither consistent nor uniform. At times he employs them to show the stressing accent of a word as in "Tschiwamadam" (i.e., civamatam = Skt. Sivamata). He also these marks to denote the long vowel as in "Duwarapalager" (i.e., Tuvaraplilakar = Skt. Dvarapalaka). In the translation, however, all the long vowels carry a macron (' ') placed above them as in 'a.'
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Re: Genealogy of the South Indian Deities, by Daniel Jeyaraj

Postby admin » Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:47 am

CHAPTER 1: ZIEGENBALG AND HALLE PIETISM

Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg shared the common characteristics of the German Lutheran Pietism, which, on one hand, sought to find practical answers for the religious, intellectual and social challenges posed by the consequences of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). On the other, it tried to revitalize the life of the Lutheran church from within. In the course of time the Pietists were identified with those Christians who emphasized regular private and corporate Bible study and active Christian life. Generally, the Pietists resisted the popular spirit of the age such as the rationalistic Enlightenment. They also suspected the usefulness of the philosophical and intellectual disputes on theological themes that did not directly contribute to the leading of a practical Christian life. Thus, Pietism brought together Christian laity and some clergy across territorial and confessional boundaries in Europe.

1.1 Francke: the founder of Halle Pietism

Ziegenbalg was in touch with many leading Pietists. August Hermann Francke (1663-1727), a follower of Philip Jacob Spener (1635-1705), the "spiritual counselor of Germany" of his day, was a great educator and leader of the Pietists in Halle. He believed that every person should have a definite born again experience. Repentance and overcoming spiritual warfare should precede the spiritual new-birth. According to Francke, Jesus Christ is the "central point" of the Bible. He founded schools for the children of wealthy people as well as for poor and neglected children and for girls. He devised several means to raise moral and financial support for his educational institutions. His pedagogical method sought to further the glory of God and the holistic development of his students. After he had become a Professor of Theology at the University in Halle (1698), he desired to improve the quality of life of all people in Europe and other parts of the world (Francke, 1701, also cf. Podczeck, 1962). His efforts to relate biblical academic studies to the practical questions of his day attracted a number of students from various parts of Europe (Brecht, 1996, 614).

In 1702, Francke recommended his students to study Idea Historiae Universalis ('Summary of universal history') by Johannes Buno (1617-1697), a Lutheran pastor in Liineburg. However, he instructed them not to pay much attention to "the useless things" (Francke, 1702, 64), by which he might have referred to the deities of the ancient Babylonians, Greeks and Romans. He asked his teachers to explain ancient Greek and Roman architecture in such a way that they leave out the "fables [i.e., religious mythologies] that might mislead or confuse the minds" (Francke, 1702, 56 f.) of the students because they were nothing but mere concocted stories.

Ziegenbalg was one of Francke's students. He liked Francke's sermons (especially his Busspredigten, 'sermons on repentance') and regarded him as his spiritual father
(AFStIM l C 1:3). In an unpublished work Ziegenbalg mentions that he spent twelve years in learning Hebrew, Greek and Latin (AFSt/M B 75- 76, 102 f.). By learning these classical languages, Ziegenbalg understood not only the major literature of the ancient Greeks and Romans, but also the role of their mythologies in shaping European culture.1 [Germann, I, 1868, 9 and Germann, II, 1868, I: On December 21, 1701 Ziegenbalg wrote to his prospective teacher Joachim Lange in Berlin that he found classical studies very useful.] He also knew Francke's views about these mythologies, but differed from him significantly. For example, later, he explained that he was astonished to find Tamil with profound spiritual truths. In 1711, he translated a few Tamil poems into German and remarked:

"Where can you [i.e., European readers] find such correct expressions of god in the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans? When I was reading such things in the books [of the Tamil people] for the first time, I was indeed persuaded to think that these authors must have been Christians, because they not only reject the worship of multiple deities, and concentrate on the worship of the only one god, but also discard all other heathenish things as foolishness. After I inquired of the Tamil people, not only in this place [i.e., Tranquebar] but also in other places, and heard from their own mouth [i.e., sayings] unanimously, [I realized] that these authors were not Christians. They were such people who lived among the Tamil people and attained such high [degree of] wisdom and power of reasoning. If they had known that these authors did not belong to their own nation, they would not value their writings so highly."[???]

(Ziegenbalg, 1926, 42).


However, Ziegenbalg viewed the mythologies as "fables" (e.g., L 20 r). He further believed that though the Tamil way of understanding the Supreme Being was superior to that of the ancient Romans, the Tamil poets fabricated numerous "fables" about their deities (e.g., L 23 r).

1.2 Lange: the defender of Halle Pietism

Joachim Lange (1670-1744) was another Halle Pietist,2 [Lange worked as a teacher at Friedrichwerda High School in Berlin. He knew Spener and A.H. Francke. In 1709 he moved to Halle (Saale) to succeed J.J. Breithaupt (1658-1732) as Professor of Systematic Theology at the University in Halle. After the death of Spener, Lange became a strong intellectual defender of Pietism.] who influenced Ziegenbalg greatly. Lange persuaded Ziegenbalg and his older friend Heinrich Plutschau (ca. 1675-1752) to accept the missionary call.3 [AFSt/H B 75-76, page 24: In his autobiography Ziegenbalg writes: "A pastor asked me to look after his church and school for sometime at Werder, five miles away from Berlin, because he wanted to travel and get married. I accepted this opportunity with great joy because I wished to work earnestly for eight weeks both in the church and in the school. In the meantime Mr. [Franz Julius] Lutkens [1650-1712] wrote from Copenhagen to a few pastors in Berlin [i.e., Joachim Lange, Laurentius Gensichen, and others] informing them that the King of Denmark [Frederick IV 1671-1730] had a pious desire, and had decided in his grace to send a few missionaries to East-India, West India and Africa, and wanted to give the non-Christians [lit. heathen] a chance to convert from the abominable darkness to true God."] After Ziegenbalg reached Tranquebar in 1706, he sent his first reports to Lange, who in turn printed them in Berlin.4 [Lange printed these letters in 1708 in Berlin, and thus laid the foundation for periodical publication of Protestant mission journals in Germany. Within a year, it was printed thrice.] Ziegenbalg's autobiographical notes mention that he enjoyed Lange's lessons because he engaged his students in both private and public exercises of devotion and "true Christianity." Ziegenbalg states further that he liked Lange's work entitled Medicina mentis ('medicine for the mind,' published in Berlin in 1704), because it teaches the art of simultaneously appreciating both spiritual and natural truths. It also underlines the pietistic conviction that sin has spoilt human will and reason, and hence human beings, by themselves, are unable to perform any good thing, and are in need of the salvation that is available in and through Jesus Christ.5 [AFSt/H B 75-76, pages 18, 19,21: "[I, Ziegenbalg] was happy to receive under the guidance of Mr. M[aster of Arts] Lange useful teachings that helped me progress in my studies. I heard the clear and pure teaching about the principles of true wisdom I was delighted. [ ... ] Our rector [Lange] helped us to practice true Christianity both in private and public spheres. We also had opportunity to explain to him our condition and to disclose to him our hypocritical life. [ ... ] In the Medicina Mentis, the work of my respected teacher, I found a decent way of understanding philosophy, which gave me the needed guidance to observe the spiritual and natural truths."] Probably, this is the major reason why Ziegenbalg kept on questioning spiritual validity of the good works done by those South Indians who were non-Christians.

Lange's other teachings left an indelible mark on Ziegenbalg. For example, Lange did not like the teachings of the rational philosophers such as Christian Wolff (1679-1754), who believed that religious knowledge and good moral life were unrelated things. On the contrary, Lange was convinced that all people were sinners and therefore, by themselves were unable to live a morally sound life. Hence, in order to live a morally sound life, one should become a Christian and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (Bianco, 1989). Moreover, Lange taught that human life should not be compartmentalized as body and soul because these two entities belong inseparably together[!!!], and influence one another mutually. If only the soul is brought under the lordship of Jesus Christ, the body also will learn to live a godly life (Lange, 1736). Accordingly, Ziegenbalg learned to support the holistic view of human beings, and understood the essence of his Christian mission not only as "service to the soul," but also as an essential "service to the body" (Gensichen, 1975).

1.3 Freylinghausen: the theologian of Halle Pietism

Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen (1670-1739), Francke's adjunct and, later, son-in-law,6 [Freylinghausen was also known for his devotional songs and publication of pietistic hymns. Cf. Freylinghausen, Geist-reiches Gesang-Buch, 1705; McMullen, 1989 and Busch, 1997).] was another Halle Pietist who exerted powerful and enduring influence on Ziegenbalg. Freylinghausen tried to make Francke's pietistic ideas theologically relevant and practically useful (Knuth, 1898, 19). His famous theological works 7 [Freylinghausen published his Foundation of Theology for high school students (1703). Knuth stated that Freylinghausen arranged his theological themes according to the model of P.J. Spener's catechism and added several quotations from the writings of M. Luther (1483-1546, Knuth, 1898, 51). Two years later he published a summary of this book. Cf. Freylinghausen, Compendium 1705. His third work was a small booklet entitled the Order of Salvation (Freylinghausen, 1705, 143-153), and was meant for primary school children who were learning Luther's Small Catechism. It consisted of twenty-one questions and answers.] are based on the teachings of the Bible, and avoided the influence of Graeco-Roman philosophy. Similarly, Ziegenbalg also tried to keep theology and philosophy separate mainly because no philosophy leads human beings to the saving faith in Jesus Christ. For example, on May 22, 1708, while discussing with a South Indian philosopher he insisted that philosophies do not help human beings attain salvation, and these are but "a pebble." By contrast, the Bible alone has the power to transform the minds and wills of people and lead them to salvation in Jesus Christ (HR, I, 8. Con., 577, 578 and 581). Ziegenbalg was also careful in following Freylinghausen's teaching on the residual image of God8 [Ziegenbalg's understanding of the image of God resembles Lutheran teaching about "the natural law." Cf. Triglot Concordia, 1921, 121 ff.: the Article IV (II) of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession teaches that the natural law is written in human consciousness and agrees with the norms of the Ten Commandments. To some extent human reason can understand natural law. However, it cannot help human beings to truly trust and obey God. If human beings merely depend on their own reason, achievements and religious activities, and think that they are saved they deceive themselves.] in human beings.

[T]he natural law agrees with the law of Moses, or the Ten Commandments …

It is further taught that since the Fall of Adam all men who are naturally born are conceived and born in sin, i.e., that they all, from their mother's womb, are full of evil desire and inclination, and can have by nature no true fear of God, no true faith in God...

In their schools the adversaries confess that "the material," as they call it, "of original sin is concupiscence."...

For some contend that original sin is not a depravity or corruption in the nature of man, but only servitude, or a condition of mortality [not an innate evil nature, but only a blemish or imposed load, or burden], which those propagated from Adam bear because of the guilt of another [namely, Adam's sin], and without any depravity of their own. Besides, they add that no one is condemned to eternal death on account of original sin, just as those who are born of a bond-woman are slaves, and bear this condition without any natural blemish, but because of the calamity of their mother [while, of themselves, they are born without fault, like other men: thus original sin is not an innate evil but a defect and burden which we bear since Adam, but we are not on that account personally in sin and inherited disgrace]. To show that this impious opinion is displeasing to us, we made mention of "concupiscence," and, with the best intention, have termed and explained it as "diseases," that "the nature of men is born corrupt and full of faults" [not a part of man, but the entire person with its entire nature is born in sin as with a hereditary disease]...

[W]hen they speak of the sin of origin, they do not mention the more serious faults of human nature, to wit, ignorance of God, contempt for God, being destitute of fear and confidence in God, hatred of God's judgment, flight from God [as from a tyrant] when He judges, anger toward God, despair of grace, putting one's trust in present things [money, property, friends], etc. These diseases, which are in the highest degree contrary to the Law of God, the scholastics do not notice; yea, to human nature they meanwhile ascribe unimpaired strength for loving God above all things, and for fulfilling God's commandments according to the substance of the acts; nor do they see that they are saying things that are contradictory to one another. For what else is the being able in one's own strength to love God above all things, and to fulfil His commandments, than to have original righteousness [to be a new creature in Paradise, entirely pure and holy]? But if human nature have such strength as to be able of itself to love God above all things, as the scholastics confidently affirm, what will original sin be? For what will there be need of the grace of Christ if we can be justified by our own righteousness [powers]? For what will there be need of the Holy Ghost if human strength can by itself love God above all things, and fulfil God's commandments? ...

But after the scholastics mingled with Christian doctrine philosophy concerning the perfection of nature [light of reason], and ascribed to the free will and the acts springing therefrom more than was sufficient, and taught that men are justified before God by philosophic or civil righteousness (which we also confess to be subject to reason, and in a measure, within our power), they could not see the inner uncleanness of the nature of men.
For this cannot be judged except from the Word of God, of which the scholastics, in their discussions, do not frequently treat.

These were the reasons why, in the description of original sin, we made mention of concupiscence also, and denied to man's natural strength the fear of God and trust in Him. For we wished to indicate that original sin contains also these diseases, namely, ignorance of God, contempt for God, the being destitute of the fear of God and trust in Him, inability to love God. These are the chief faults of human nature, conflicting especially with the first table of the Decalog....

And these opinions [even of the most recent teachers] also agree with Scripture. For Paul sometimes expressly calls it a defect [a lack of divine light], as 1 Cor. 2, 14: The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God....

The entire righteousness of man is mere hypocrisy [and abomination] before God, unless we acknowledge that our heart is naturally destitute of love, fear, and confidence in God [that we are miserable sinners who are in disgrace with God]....

Although the scholastics extenuate both sin and punishment when they teach that man by his own strength, can fulfil the commandments of God; in Genesis the punishment, imposed on account of original sin, is described otherwise. For there human nature is subjected not only to death and other bodily evils, but also to the kingdom of the devil. For there, Gen. 3, 16, this fearful sentence is proclaimed: I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. The defects and the concupiscence are punishments and sins. Death and other bodily evils and the dominion of the devil, are properly punishments. For human nature has been delivered into slavery, and is held captive by the devil, who infatuates it with wicked opinions and errors, and impels it to sins of every kind. But just as the devil cannot be conquered except by the aid of Christ, so by our own strength we cannot free ourselves from this slavery. Even the history of the world shows how great is the power of the devil's kingdom....

Now, we think concerning the righteousness of reason thus, namely, that God requires it, and that, because of God's commandment, the honorable works which the Decalog commands must necessarily be performed, according to the passage Gal. 3, 24: The Law was our schoolmaster; likewise 1 Tim. 1, 9: The Law is made for the ungodly. For God wishes those who are carnal [gross sinners] to be restrained by civil discipline, and to maintain this, He has given laws, letters, doctrine, magistrates, penalties. And this righteousness reason, by its own strength, can, to a certain extent, work, although it is often overcome by natural weakness, and by the devil impelling it to manifest crimes. Now, although we cheerfully assign this righteousness of reason the praises that are due it (for this corrupt nature has no greater good [in this life and in a worldly nature, nothing is ever better than uprightness and virtue], and Aristotle says aright: Neither the evening star nor the morning star is more beautiful than righteousness, and God also honors it with bodily rewards), yet it ought not to be praised with reproach to Christ.

For it is false [I thus conclude, and am certain that it is a fiction, and not true] that we merit the remission of sins by our works.

False also is this, that men are accounted righteous before God because of the righteousness of reason [works and external piety].

False also is this that reason, by its own strength, is able to love God above all things, and to fulfil God's Law, namely, truly to fear God to be truly confident that God hears prayer, to be willing to obey God in death and other dispensations of God, not to covet what belongs to others, etc.; although reason can work civil works.

False also and dishonoring Christ is this, that men do not sin who, without grace, do the commandments of God [who keep the commandments of God merely in an external manner, without the Spirit and grace in their hearts]. We have testimonies for this our belief, not only from the Scriptures, but also from the Fathers. For in opposition to the Pelagians, Augustine contends at great length that grace is not given because of our merits. And in De Natura et Gratia [On Nature and Grace] he says: If natural ability, through the free will, suffice both for learning to know how one ought to live and for living aright, then Christ has died in vain, then the offense of the Cross is made void. Why may I not also here cry out? Yea I will cry out, and, with Christian grief, will chide them: Christ has become of no effect unto you whosoever of you are justified by the Law; ye are fallen from grace. Gal. 5, 4; cf. 2, 21. For they, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Rom. 10 3. 4. And John 8, 36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. Therefore by reason we cannot be freed from sins and merit the remission of sins. And in John 3, 5 it is written: Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. But if it is necessary to be born again of the Holy Ghost the righteousness of reason does not justify us before God, and does not fulfil the Law, Rom. 3, 23: All have come short of the glory of God, i.e., are destitute of the wisdom and righteousness of God, which acknowledges and glorifies God. Likewise Rom. 8, 7. 8: The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. These testimonies are so manifest that, to use the words of Augustine which he employed in this case, they do not need an acute understanding, but only an attentive hearer. If the carnal mind is enmity against God, the flesh certainly does not love God; if it cannot be subject to the Law of God, it cannot love God. If the carnal mind is enmity against God, the flesh sins even when we do external civil works. If it cannot be subject to the Law of God, it certainly sins even when, according to human judgment, it possesses deeds that are excellent and worthy of praise. The adversaries consider only the precepts of the Second Table which contain civil righteousness that reason understands. Content with this, they think that they satisfy the Law of God. In the mean time they do not see the First Table which commands that we love God, that we declare as certain that God is angry with sin, that we truly fear God, that we declare as certain that God hears prayer. But the human heart without the Holy Ghost either in security despises God's judgment, or in punishment flees from, and hates, God when He judges. Therefore it does not obey the First Table. Since, therefore, contempt of God, and doubt concerning the Word of God and concerning the threats and promises, inhere in human nature, men truly sin, even when, without the Holy Ghost, they do virtuous works, because they do them with a wicked heart, according to Rom. 14, 23: Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. For such persons perform their works with contempt of God, just as Epicurus does not believe that God cares for him, or that he is regarded or heard by God. This contempt vitiates works seemingly virtuous, because God judges the heart....

And here Ambrose says well: grace is to be acknowledged; but nature must not be disregarded. We must trust in the promise of grace and not in our own nature.

-- The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, by Philip Melanchthon


According to Freylinghausen the knowledge of God is both

"natural and supernatural. It is natural because the image of God is implanted in human beings and a spark of the light of the image of God is remaining. This [flickering] light helps the people to realize that they ought to not only love and fear God, but also grow in the knowledge of God by observing the works of God. Cf. Romans 1, 18-20. The supernatural knowledge comes from the Word of God to those who allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten them. Cf. Ephesians 1: 17 and II Peter 1: 19."

(Freylinghausen, 1703, 1 f.).


In general, natural religion or theology (hereafter “natural theology”) aims to adhere to the same standards of rational investigation as other philosophical and scientific enterprises, and is subject to the same methods of evaluation and critique. Natural theology is typically contrasted with “revealed theology”, where the latter explicitly appeals to special revelations such as miracles, scriptures, and divinely-superintended commentaries and creedal formulations.

-- Natural Theology and Natural Religion, by Andrew Chignell and Derk Pereboom


Freylinghausen believed that human beings could obtain knowledge from two sources: the natural way of understanding God is ''planted'' in the human heart. All human beings are created in the image of God.9 [The most fundamental text for the understanding of the concept ''humankind created in the image of God" is found in Genesis 1:26 f.: "Then God said, 'Let us make humankind our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth'. So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them."] Therefore, they have sufficient knowledge to appropriately respond to God and to live for God's glory (Freylinghausen, 1705, 41-43). But Satan ('adversary'), the prime opponent of God, caused the people to sin and acquire an evil nature (Freylinghausen, 1705, 44-48).10 [Freylinghausen's view on the devil agreed with the teachings of Martin Luther on the second article of the Apostle's Creed. Cf. Triglot Concordia, 1921. 681: After ''we had been created by God the Father, and had received from Him all manner of good, the devil came and led us into disobedience, sin, death; and all evil, so that we fell under God's wrath and displeasure and were doomed to eternal damnation, as we had merited and deserved."] As a result, sin has spoilt, but did not annihilate the image of God in human beings. Still a small light of the image of God remains in them and reminds them to find ways of appropriately worshipping God. Further, human beings are able to correctly conduct their worldly business, but often their actions are selfish. Even their natural works that appear to be morally sound are nothing but dead works (Freylinghausen, 1705, 51-53). In this regard, natural knowledge of God does not help the people to live a godly life; they are in desperate need of the supernatural knowledge of God that comes from the illuminating and enabling work of the Holy Spirit.11 [Freylingbausen, Compendium, 1705: The Second Article reads as follows: "The knowledge of God is both natural and supernatural. God has implanted the natural knowledge into all people. This knowledge is nothing but the remaining fire/flame of the light [coming from the fact that] we are created in the likeness of God. It helps us to realize that there is God. We should love and fear this God, Romans 1:18-19. By observing the works of God we can grow and increase in this natural knowledge, Romans 1:20. Only those who allow the Holy Spirit to work in them can obtain the supernatural knowledge from the Word of God through the enlightening power of the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1: 17 and Second Peter 1: 19."] Then only people will be able to correctly understand the nature of the Triune God, and the pietistic concepts of creation, human sin, salvation.12 [On December 22, 1710, Ziegenbalg and his colleague Johannes Ernest Grundler (1677-1720) reported that they had translated Freylinghausen's Order of Salvation into Tamil as Ratcittallin Olunku ('the order of salvation'), copied it on palm leaves and distributed it to the Tamils (Ziegenbalg, 1957, 170 and 173).]

Ziegenbalg liked Freylinghausen's teaching so much that in 1709 he summarized Freylinghausen's Foundation of Theology into Tamil and named it Vetacastiram
('Theological Treatise,).13 [HR, I, 2. Con, 83: On December 7, 1709 Grundler, informed that Ziegenbalg had prepared Vetacastiram and desired to send a copy of it to the King of Tancavur to illustrate what the missionaries in Tranquebar were teaching.] Two palm leaf manuscripts of this Vetacastiram are now recovered (AFSt/P TAM 36 and AFSt/P TAM 93), and each manuscript is divided into two parts. The first part contains seven chapters that deal with the attributes of God as revealed in the Bible. Accordingly, God is understood as the One who is eternal, unchanging, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all-truth, all-wisdom, all-holy, all-justice, all-mercy and all-compassionate (AFSt/P TAM 36, palm leaves 6v-18r). Ziegenbalg uses this definition of God to evaluate the authenticity and credibility of the South Indian deities. The second part describes the nature of humankind (AFSt/P TAM 85 containing 307 palm leaves) as those who are created in God's image. Out of their own free will they sinned against God and misused the ability to discern between good and evil. Their sin damaged the image of God in them. As far as their present worldly life is concerned, they are able to do several things rightly; but their spiritual life is corrupt.

During the decade 1880 to 1890, Hinduism in Madras and elsewhere, alarmed at the growing influence of Christianity, and fanned by the Theosophical Society, determined to use Christian methods in defence of Hindu faith and practice, and formed for their advocacy and enforcement a tract society and preaching society. For some years vigorous efforts were made to carry on by these agencies an active defensive and offensive propaganda. In 1887 Mr. Phillips refers to this movement: —
'I cannot describe the religious ferment now going on in Madras, and rapidly spreading all over the Presidency, better than by transcribing a few sentences from a Tamil tract published by The Hindu Tract Society, a Society lately established for the purpose of sending forth tracts and handbills against Christianity and in defence of Hinduism. The tract is addressed to all sects and castes. "Missionaries," says the tract, "come from England at great cost, and tell us that we are in heathen darkness, and that a bundle of fables called the Bible is the true Vedam (inspired book) which alone can enlighten us. They have cast their net over our children by teaching them in their schools; and they have already made thousands of Christians, and are continuing to do so. They have penetrated into the most out of the way villages and built churches there. If we continue to sleep as we have done in the past, not one will be found worshipping in our temples in a very short time; why, the temples themselves will be converted into Christian churches! Do you not know that the number of Christians is increasing and the number of Hindu religionists decreasing everyday? How long will water remain in a well which continually lets out but receives none in? If our religion be incessantly drained by Christianity without receiving any accessions, how can it last? When our country is turned into the wilderness of Christianity, will the herb of Hinduism grow?"

-- The history of the London Missionary Society, 1795-1895, by Richard Lovett, 1851-1904

The title of the first pamphlet from the brand-new Tamil mission press in Tranquebar reads: "The Veta-pramanam (Skt. vedapramana, Vedic norm) demonstrating that akkiyanam [ajnana] must be detested and how those in akkiyanam can be saved" (pp. 309-10). In the very first sentence Ziegenbalg comes straight to the point: "We have come to you in order to save you from akkiyanam" (Grafe 2004:83-84).

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


Ziegenbalg follows this line of thought in one of his conversation with a South Indian Brahmin and expresses the following:

"God has given you South Indians a fine power of understanding so that you know how to reason out worldly things very well. However, regarding spiritual knowledge you are blind and do not understand. Without any question you accept what your poets have invented and written in fine ornamental verses. It is a foolish opinion to believe that the Supreme Being has multiplied itself in numerous deities. This mistake comes from the fact that you do not yet know the Word of God. [ ... ] Without this Word of God neither evil nor good can be discerned. You, South Indians, know in your mind what is sin and what is virtue. But your natural power of reasoning is unable to realize the deeply corrupt nature of your heart, let alone understand the right kind of virtues. Without the help of [Jesus] Christ you will not be able to avoid what is evil and to do what is right."

(HR, I, 8. Con., 505, 506 and 513, date of conversation March 5, 1707


On May 1, 1708 a South Indian medical doctor who was impressed by Ziegenbalg's knowledge of the Tamil language asked him what he thought of Tamil religions. Ziegenbalg answered him the following:

"When I [Ziegenbalg] consider your external lifestyle and your worldly business, I must confess that you are experts in natural things and you can do all kinds of good works. And it is indeed pleasant to live among you. But if one considers the spiritual nature of your heart along with your way of worship in the temples and your religious books, I cannot say anything but that you are heathen [i.e., those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ personally], and that your religion is incorrect."

(HR,I, 8. Con., 566)


Thus, Ziegenbalg recognized the high value of the Tamil people in "secular" sphere. But from this theological perspective it is understandable that he was unable to completely appreciate the religious beliefs and practices of the Tamil people.

1.4 Halle Pietism and the "Book of Nature"

Ziegenbalg regarded the entire universe as the Book of Nature and the Bible as the Book of Grace. In this respect he followed the teachings of Johann Arndt's True Christianity (1605-1610). The Halle Pietists appreciated this book and taught it in their schools and churches. The fourth section of True Christianity (Arndt, 1696, 782-785) deals with the Book of Nature and encourages the readers to observe the creatures for spiritual insight because the whole universe witnesses to God and is meant to lead people to God. Moreover, it demonstrates God's love towards human beings[???] and encourages them to respond to God in love and also serve their fellow human beings (Arndt, 1696, 117-120, 153-155).

With no greater prudence they add also other notions, such as, that [God's creature and] nature is not [cannot in itself be] evil. In its proper place we do not censure this; but it is not right to twist it into an extenuation of original sin...

[C]arnal nature does not cease to bring forth wicked dispositions [evil inclination and desire], even though the Spirit in us resists them....

For sin and Adam's fall are not such a trifling thing as reason holds or imagines, it exceeds the reason and thought of all men to understand what a horrible wrath of God has been handed on to us by that disobedience. There occurred a shocking corruption of the entire human nature, which no work of man, but only God Himself, can restore.

***

[Search for "love"]

love God ... love God ... love God ... love God ... love of God ... love of God ... loves God ... love God ... love to God ... love God ... [etc. 100's] ... By faith alone in Christ, not through love, not because of love or works, do we acquire the remission of sins, although love follows faith. Therefore by faith alone we are justified, understanding justification as the making of a righteous man out of an unrighteous, or that he be regenerated.... By faith, therefore, for Christ's sake, we receive remission of sins. We cannot set our own love and our own works over against God's wrath.... We receive remission of sins, he says, through His name i.e., for His sake; therefore, not for the sake of our merits, not for the sake of our contrition, attrition, love, worship, works...

Truly, it is amazing that the adversaries are in no way moved by so many passages of Scripture, which clearly ascribe justification to faith, and, indeed, deny it to works. Do they think that the same is repeated so often for no purpose? Do they think that these words fell inconsiderately from the Holy Ghost? But they have also devised sophistry whereby they elude them. They say that these passages of Scripture, (which speak of faith,) ought to be received as referring to a fides formata, i.e., they do not ascribe justification to faith except on account of love. Yea, they do not, in any way, ascribe justification to faith, but only to love, because they dream that faith can coexist with mortal sin. Whither does this tend, unless that they again abolish the promise and return to the Law? If faith receive the remission of sins on account of love, the remission of sins will always be uncertain, because we never love as much as we ought, yea, we do not love unless our hearts are firmly convinced that the remission of sins has been granted us. Thus the adversaries, while they require in the remission of sins and justification confidence in one's own love, altogether abolish the Gospel concerning the free remission of sins; although at the same time, they neither render this love nor understand it, unless they believe that the remission of sins is freely received....

We also say that love ought to follow faith as Paul also says, Gal. 5, 6: For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love. And yet we must not think on that account that by confidence in this love or on account of this love we receive the remission of sins and reconciliation just as we do not receive the remission of sins because of other works that follow. But the remission of sins is received by faith alone, and, indeed, by faith properly so called, because the promise cannot be received except by faith. But faith, properly so called, is that which assents to the promise [is when my heart, and the Holy Ghost in the heart, says: The promise of God is true and certain]. Of this faith Scripture speaks. And because it receives the remission of sins, and reconciles us to God, by this faith we are [like Abraham] accounted righteous for Christ's sake before we love and do the works of the Law, although love necessarily follows. Nor, indeed, is this faith an idle knowledge, neither can it coexist with mortal sin, but it is a work of the Holy Ghost, whereby we are freed from death, and terrified minds are encouraged and quickened. And because this faith alone receives the remission of sins, and renders us acceptable to God, and brings the Holy Ghost, it could be more correctly called gratia gratum faciens, grace rendering one pleasing to God, than an effect following, namely, love....

Article III: Of Love and the Fulfilling of the Law....

[W]e must first declare what we believe concerning love and the fulfilling of the Law...

[W]hen we have been justified by faith and regenerated, we begin to fear and love God, to pray to Him, to expect from Him aid, to give thanks and praise Him and to obey Him in afflictions. We begin also to love our neighbors, because our hearts have spiritual and holy movements...

[H]ow can the human heart love God while it knows that He is terribly angry, and is oppressing us with temporal and perpetual calamities? But the Law always accuses us, always shows that God is angry. [Therefore, what the scholastics say of the love of God is a dream.] God therefore is not loved until we apprehend mercy by faith. Not until then does He become a lovable object....

Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God with all thine heart....

Yea, we add also this, that it is impossible for love to God, even though it be small, to be sundered from faith, because through Christ we come to the Father, and, the remission of sins having been received, we now are truly certain that we have a God, i.e., that God cares for us; we call upon Him, we give Him thanks, we fear Him, we love Him as John teaches in his first Epistle, 4, 19: We love Him he says, because He first loved us, namely, because He gave His Son for us, and forgave us our sins. Thus he indicates that faith precedes and love follows....

From these effects of faith the adversaries select one, namely, love, and teach that love justifies. Thus it is clearly apparent that they teach only the Law. They do not teach that remission of sins through faith is first received. They do not teach of Christ as Mediator, that for Christ's sake we have a gracious God; but because of our love. And yet, what the nature of this love is they do not say, neither can they say. They proclaim that they fulfil the Law, although this glory belongs properly to Christ; and they set against the judgment of God confidence in their own works; for they say that they merit de condigno (according to righteousness) grace and eternal life. This confidence is absolutely impious and vain. For in this life we cannot satisfy the Law, because carnal nature does not cease to bring forth wicked dispositions [evil inclination and desire], even though the Spirit in us resists them.

But some one may ask: Since we also confess that love is a work of the Holy Ghost, and since it is righteousness, because it is the fulfilling of the Law, why do we not teach that it justifies? To this we must reply: In the first place, it is certain that we receive remission of sins, neither through our love nor for the sake of our love, but for Christ's sake, by faith alone.... If any one thinks that he obtains the remission of sins because he loves, he dishonors Christ, and will discover in God's judgment that this confidence in his own righteousness is wicked and vain.... [W]e do not receive remission of sins because of love to God although it is necessary that this should follow. Besides, the custom of speech is well known that by the same word we sometimes comprehend by synecdoche the cause and effects. Thus in Luke 7, 47 Christ says: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven for she loved much. For Christ interprets Himself [this very passage] when He adds: Thy faith hath saved thee. Christ, therefore, did not mean that the woman, by that work of love, had merited the remission of sins. For that is the reason He says: Thy faith hath sated thee. But faith is that which freely apprehends God's mercy on account of God's Word [which relies upon God's mercy and Word, and not upon one's own work]. If any one denies that this is faith [if any one imagines that he can rely at the same time upon God and his own works], he does not understand at all what faith is. [For the terrified conscience is not satisfied with its own works, but must cry after mercy, and is comforted and encouraged alone by God's Word.] And the narrative itself shows in this passage what that is which He calls love.

-- The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, by Philip Melanchthon


For Christians nothing is more important than God who is "the root, source and spring of all good things" (Arndt, 1696, 168). Therefore, the Book of Grace,) which reveals this God in Jesus Christ, should supercede the Book of Nature. Further, the Book of Grace teaches that [sic] "Arndt writes that "a natural person can accomplish absolutely nothing in godly things" and "the salvation of human beings depends not on their works, but solely on God's grace" (Arndt, 1696, 783-785 and 787). Arndt also maintains that natural knowledge of God reveals neither the fallen state of human beings in need of salvation nor the love of God exhibited in and through Jesus Christ. Ziegenbalg studied Arndt's True Christianity from his youth14 [AFSt/M I C 1 and Germann, I, 1868, 9: On December 21, 1701 Ziegenbalg wrote to Joachim Lange explaining that he was regularly studying Arndt's True Christianity.] and cultivated the habit of observing the creatures to learn spiritual lessons. Ziegenbalg describes another event that changed his way of looking at natural things. At sixteen he met a friend who taught him the art of interpreting the Book of Nature and deriving spiritual lessons from it. This friend explained that all creatures point to their Creator, who alone is worthy of honor and worship, and creatures should never be worshiped (Ziegenbalg, Der gottgefallige Lehr-Standt, 1709, 13 f.). Later Ziegenbalg developed this thought further. He writes in his Common School of True Wisdom that the universe serves as "an excellent book of divine wisdom, in which one would find as many pages as are the creatures made by God" (Ziegenbalg, Allgemeine Schule, 1710, 320). Hence, creation is a means to know God and can never become the object of worship. As a result, he encouraged the members of his Tamil church in Tranquebar to cultivate the habit of observing nature and discerning spiritual knowledge. People are meant to worship only God the Creator, and not the creatures (AFSt/P TAM 35, palm leaf 98v, i.e., twenty-third sermon).

Article XXIII (XI): Of the Marriage of Priests....

Now let the wise reader consider this, namely, what shame these good-for-nothing men have who say that marriages [which the Holy Scriptures praise most highly and command] produce infamy and disgrace to the government, as though, indeed, this public infamy of flagitious and unnatural lusts which glow among these very holy fathers, who feign that they are Curii and live like bacchanals, were a great ornament to the Church! And most things which these men do with the greatest license cannot even be named without a breach of modesty....

We cannot approve this law concerning celibacy which the adversaries defend, because it conflicts with divine and natural law and is at variance with the very canons of the Councils. And that it is superstitious and dangerous is evident. For it produces infinite scandals, sins, and corruption of public morals [as is seen in the real towns of priests, or, as they are called, their residences]....

For we are speaking not of concupiscence, which is sin, but of that appetite which was to have been in nature in its integrity [which would have existed in nature even if it had remained uncorrupted], which they call physical love. And this love of one sex for the other is truly a divine ordinance....[!!!]

The nature of men is so formed by the word of God that it is fruitful not only in the beginning of the creation, but as long as this nature of our bodies will exist just as the earth becomes fruitful by the word Gen. 1, 11: Let the earth bring forth grass, yielding seed. Because of this ordinance the earth not only commenced in the beginning to bring forth plants, but the fields are clothed every year as long as this natural order will exist. Therefore, just as by human laws the nature of the earth cannot be changed, so, without a special work of God the nature of a human being can be changed neither by vows nor by human law [that a woman should not desire a man, nor a man a woman]....

Secondly. And because this creation or divine ordinance in man is a natural right, jurists have accordingly said wisely and correctly that the union of male and female belongs to natural right. But since natural right is immutable, the right to contract marriage must always remain. For where nature does not change, that ordinance also with which God has endowed nature does not change, and cannot be removed by human laws. Therefore it is ridiculous for the adversaries to prate that marriage was commanded in the beginning, but is not now. This is the same as if they would say: Formerly, when men were born, they brought with them sex; now they do not. Formerly, when they were born, they brought with them natural right, now they do not. No craftsman (Faber) could produce anything more crafty than these absurdities, which were devised to elude a right of nature. Therefore let this remain in the case which both Scripture teaches and the jurist says wisely, namely, that the union of male and female belongs to natural right. Moreover, a natural right is truly a divine right, because it is an ordinance divinely impressed upon nature. But inasmuch as this right cannot be changed without an extraordinary work of God, it is necessary that the right to contract marriage remains, because the natural desire of sex for sex is an ordinance of God in nature, and for this reason is a right; otherwise, why would both sexes have been created? And we are speaking, as it has been said above, not of concupiscence, which is sin, but of that desire which they call physical love [which would have existed between man and woman even though their nature had remained pure], which concupiscence has not removed from nature, but inflames, so that now it has greater need of a remedy, and marriage is necessary not only for the sake of procreation, but also as a remedy [to guard against sins]. These things are clear, and so well established that they can in no way be overthrown.


Thirdly. Paul says, 1 Cor. 7, 2: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife. This now is an express command pertaining to all who are not fit for celibacy. The adversaries ask that a commandment be shown them which commands priests to marry. As though priests are not men! We judge indeed that the things which we maintain concerning human nature in general pertain also to priests. Does not Paul here command those who have not the gift of continence to marry? For he interprets himself a little after when he says, v. 9: It is better to marry than to burn. And Christ has clearly said Matt. 19, 11: All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. Because now, since sin [since the fall of Adam], these two things concur, namely, natural appetite and concupiscence, which inflames the natural appetite, so that now there is more need of marriage than in nature in its integrity, Paul accordingly speaks of marriage as a remedy, and on account of these flames commands to marry. Neither can any human authority, any law, any vows remove this declaration: It is better to marry than to burn, because they do not remove the nature or concupiscence. Therefore all who burn, retain the right to marry. By this commandment of Paul: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, all are held bound who do not truly keep themselves continent; the decision concerning which pertains to the conscience of each one....

But, as we have said above, the adversaries are only playing; they are doing nothing seriously. If continence were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift. But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all. God wishes the rest to use the common law of nature which He has instituted. For God does not wish His ordinances, His creations to be despised. He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented, just as He wishes to nourish our life in this way, that we use food and drink.

-- The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, by Philip Melanchthon


In this context, he believes that the Bible alone is the sure means to know the distinction between the Creator and the creatures.

"The fifth sermon explains two ways of knowing God. By observing the creatures human beings can conclude that there should be a creator. Then, they should proceed to find out who this creator is. The second way is to derive knowledge from God's Word. This sermon shows what people can know about God through nature, and what secrets they can learn from the Holy Scripture."

(AFSt/P TAM 37, palm leaves 17v-22r; and Ziegenbalg's summary of this sermon in his Ausfuhrlicher Bericht, 1713, 25.)


Ziegenbalg explains further that while the Book of Nature demonstrates that there is one God, the Book of Grace alone shows the way to obtain the (salvific) knowledge of this God (HR, II, 15. Con., 14-16, Ziegenbalg's conversation with a Brahmin on January 18, 1718).

Thus, Ziegenbalg's works bears the deep marks of Halle Pietism, especially the Halle Pietistic view about the relationship between the Book of Nature and the Book of Grace. This pietistic influence enabled Ziegenbalg to discern the residual image of God in the South Indians.
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Re: Genealogy of the South Indian Deities, by Daniel Jeyaraj

Postby admin » Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:48 am

Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER 2: ZIEGENBALG AND THE RESIDUAL IMAGE OF GOD

2.1 Discerning the residual image of God


When Ziegenbalg was ordained on November 11, 1705 in Copenhagen as a missionary, he made certain vows and was mindful of them throughout his life.1 [Germann, II, 1868, 194 f.: Germann reproduces the text of these vows.] Six days later, he received from King Frederick IV further ministerial exhortations.2 [AFSt/M I C 1:59: A copy of the same job description was given to J.E. Gruendler when he was ordained in Copenhagen on October 22, 1708. It is preserved in Box No. 11, at the Tranquebar Archives housed in the Library of the Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran Mission, Leipzig, Germany.] The third and fourth exhortations are important to understand Ziegenbalg's religious research. The third instruction revolves around the complex relationship between the Book of Nature and the Book of Grace,3 [AFSt/M I C 1 :59: The third instruction reads as follows: "It is of great help if the missionary would find out the eternal knowledge of God that is still found naturally among the people, and lead them from that standpoint to the right knowledge of God, which God has revealed in his Word. It is left to the discretion of the missionary to find out the residual knowledge and use it appropriately, whenever it is necessary. However, the missionary should adhere to the Word of God believing firmly that God would not allow the power of his Word be without blessing among the naturally inclined [literally: wild] people."] and advises Ziegenbalg first to study the (pre-Christian) knowledge of God found among the South Indians, and then find ways of leading the South Indians to the knowledge of God that is revealed in the Bible. The fourth instruction fixes Ziegenbalg's theological frame of reference4 [AFSt/M I C 1:59: The missionary "in East India (i.e., Tranquebar) should not teach anything that is not found in the Word of God or in the Books of Symbols that are fixed according to the principles laid down in the Augsburg Confession. The missionary should follow the example of the Lord Jesus who began his teaching ministry by preaching the need for repentance and conversion, and asked His disciples to preach on repentance and the forgiveness of sins."] by requiring him to hold on to the Lutheran doctrines enshrined in the Augsburg Confession. This instruction has also some political and legal implication in Tranquebar because, when Ove Giedde (1594-1660),5 [For detailed information about Ove Giedde (also written as Gedde, Gjedde and Gidde) see Diller, 1999, 42-44.] the representative of the Danish King Christian IV (1588-1648), and Rakunata Nayak (1600-1634), the King of Tancavur, signed their trade treaty on November 19, 1620, they granted the European inhabitants of Tranquebar the full freedom to practice their "Religion of Augsburg."6 [Registratur 14, pages 504-507, No.5. Ove Giedde became the first governor of Tranquebar (October 11, 1620 - February 13, 1620). The German version of the entire treaty agreement is reproduced in Diller, 1999, 152-158. The third point reads: "We [Rakunata Nayak] will defend the subjects of the King of Denmark, and allow them to practice their religion called Religio Augsburgica. We will not allow them to be troubled on account of their faith."] As a result, Ziegenbalg was asked to be sensitive to this religious provision and make use of it. The basic Lutheran beliefs about the natural law, justification by faith and salvation in Christ7 [Triglot Concordia, 1921, 45: Orthodox Lutheranism believes that human beings "cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ's sake, through faith."] enabled Ziegenbalg to study the nature of the major South Indian religions and ascertain their usefulness. In this effort he followed several methods, of which the following two are significant.

2.1.1 Through language study

Ziegenbalg began to learn Tamil just eight days after his arrival in Tranquebar. Initially an old Tamil schoolteacher, who did not know any European language, helped Ziegenbalg acquire the basics of the language. However, in October 1706, Ziegenbalg hired Alakappan (1660-1730, cf. Liebau, 1997, especially 1998, 18), who was well versed in Tamil, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch and German.8 [AFSt/M I C 1:33: Ziegenbalg's letter dated September 22, 1707: Ziegenbalg outlines how he learned the language from his teacher and his school children.] Alakappan lived with Ziegenbalg for two years, taught him Tamil and procured for him several Tamil palm leaf manuscripts (HR, I, 2. Con., 82; cf. Fenger, 1845,27 f.). By August 1708 Ziegenbalg read 119 Tamil books, twenty-one Tamil books written by Roman Catholic missionaries and also eleven books on Islam. He reviewed these 151 books in Bibliotheca malabarica ('Tamil Library').9 [AFSt/M II A 6, 34; printed in HR, I, 1. Con., 18: Ziegenbalg reported that he had sent his scribes to distant places in the Tamil country to buy the available Tamil palm leaf manuscripts. Often, Brahmin widows sold them. Ziegenbalg believed that besides the manuscripts that he could acquire for his mission library there were many thousands of other manuscripts to be found among the Tamils, but he found it exceedingly difficult to obtain them.] The Tamil books that Ziegenbalg read were on many subjects including "theology, ethics, public debate, rhetoric, poetry, philosophy, physics, medicine, politics, mathematics, astronomy, geometry, music, and the like" (HR, I, 3. Con., 127 f.). Though Ziegenbalg could read and understand the classical Tamil texts, he decided to get familiar with the spoken form of Tamil mainly because the written form of classical Tamil consisted of metrical verses. Common people who did not have formal education could not understand these writings that contained rare Tamil words, idioms and Sanskrit loan words.10 [Ziegenbalg, B.: Ausfuhrlicher Bericht, 1710, 34: Ziegenbalg reported (on 22.8.1708) that he did not consciously write in metrical verses because only a very few people could understand it.]. In Ziegenbalg's view, the poetic and spoken forms of Tamil constituted almost two different languages[???] (Ziegenbalg, 1926, 223).

Ziegenbalg's study of the Tamil language and literature transformed him for the rest of his life. Firstly, it confirmed his missionary call and service among the South Indians. In September 1713 he summarized his experience as follows:

"The blessed language acquisition motivated us [i.e., Ziegenbalg and Plutschau] strongly to persevere in missionary work without wavering. Learning the languages was the main reason that within one year after our arrival in Tranquebar we began to organize a church named Jerusalem for the Tamil people and Portuguese speaking Indians. Now, we have worked in this church, faithfully communicating the Word of God in oral and written forms for six years."

(AFSt/M II C 5, pages 54 f.).


It is interesting to note that Ziegenbalg saw the establishment of the church in relation to his learning the Tamil language. As will be discussed later, the instructions given to Ziegenbalg after his ordination by the King of Denmark did not make any provision for an institutionalized form of Christian faith.11 [Whether King Frederick was aware of the so-called "Apostolic Missionary Idealism" is unclear. Cf. Sandegren, 1928, 7: ''That Ziegenbalg was called 'missionary' was a shock to many orthodox people who considered it a great presumption showing that he thereby made himself an equal to the apostles (the Latin word 'missionarius' corresponds to the Greek word 'apostle' meaning 'sent out'). If Ziegenbalg called himself a missionary, he ought, according to the opinion of many enthusiastic pietists, wander about in poverty and everywhere preach the Gospel, never settling down in one place to build a church, school and a comfortable bungalow."] The learning of the Tamil language also convinced Ziegenbalg to plan for a permanent establishment of Protestant Christianity in Tranquebar and work for intercultural learning.12 [AFSt/M II A 6: 5, 30, printed in HR, I, 1. Con., 44 f.: In 1708 Ziegenbalg encouraged his European contemporaries to give up their erroneous ideas about the South Indians. Because of the importance of this passage the full text is translated: "Most Christians in Europe are of such opinions that the South Indians are an extremely barbarous people without knowing anything about the one true God, and that among them there are no academic disciplines, good customs, virtues or moral code of conduct. This opinion comes from the fact that some Europeans came to the South Indians not knowing their language or reading their books. They derived their conclusions from their external observations. I myself have to confess that, at the time of my first arrival among them, I thought that their language did not have reasonable grammatical rules and that they were living an unorganised life without any civil code of conduct. Basing my judgement on what they did and what they failed to do I had all kinds of wrong conceptions about them thinking that the South Indians possessed neither civil nor moral code of conduct. For this reason I excuse those who have never known the South Indians, yet have such wrong preconceptions about them. Before I lived among the South Indians, I too had the same kind of prejudice. After I learned to speak their language to some extent and discuss with them all kinds of things, I was freed gradually from such vain imaginations. I began to have a much better opinion about them. Finally, when I acquired the ability to read the literature, I realised the following: in their own orderly way they teach well-organised philosophical disciplines that are similar to the disciplines discussed only by experts in Europe. Moreover, they have religious scriptures that are written systematically. All theological subject matters should be derived from and based on these scriptures."] Moreover, Ziegenbalg's study of Tamil helped him to write firsthand information on the evidence of the image of God in the South Indians. For example, in 1711 he wrote a Detailed Description of the South Indian Society (in German: Ausfuhrliche Beschreibung des Malabarischen Heidenthums, published by Willem Caland in 1926). It is one of the much-studied works of Ziegenbalg.13 [In 1927, Ihmels reviewed this book, affirming that it described South Indian society accurately (Ihmels, 1927). Theodore Zechariae (1851-1934), an eminent Indologist in Halle, wrote a critical review of Caland's publication (Zachariae, 1927). In recent years, Ziegenbalg's South Indian Society has occupied an important place in Gita Dharampal-Frick's major works (Dharampal-Frick, 1994, 95-108, 120, 145, 149-152, 171-173, 308-310, 314, 322, 348-373, 376 and 1999) She has examined the socio-cultural contribution of Ziegenbalg with a view to an authentic understanding of "Tamil Hinduism" (Dharampal-Frick, 1994, 369).] Throughout this book he stated that he was strictly following the Tamil way of thinking and writing. Though he did not agree with many religious stories of the Tamil people, he cited them to demonstrate the collective thinking and beliefs of the people (Ziegenbalg, 1926, 13, point no. 16) and went on illustrating how the Tamil people, who did not know anything about the Bible, bore the marks of the image of God and developed certain spiritual teachings that did not contradict the teachings of the Christian Bible (Ziegenbalg, 1926, point no. 26).

2.1.2 Through letter correspondence

Ziegenbalg, a European missionary, could freely work in the Danish colony, but not in the territory that was under the rule of the King of Tancavur; but he wanted to know what the people this kingdom did and how they worshipped their deities. Hence, he invited informed Tamil for interreligious dialogue. Later, he wrote to many scholars and requested his correspondents to comment on his questions about religion and society. One of Ziegenbalg's correspondents wrote that Vairaventa Guru, Pancaccara Guru, Mappillai Guru, Sesa Sastrin, Minaksi Sastrin, Citampara Sastrin and Mokampara Sastrinr14 [A Guru is respectable spiritual preceptor from whom the disciples receive their special prayers. The guru teaches his disciples in Sastras and conducts other religious ceremonies. A Sastrin ('one who recites') is considered to be an expert on the Sastras.] were a few of the learned scholars in the Kingdom of Tancavur. These well-informed scholars professed as well as practiced their religious faith. These and other correspondents wrote to Ziegenbalg about the rituals and ceremonies held in temples, public places and at homes; about the generally available religious scriptures and famous places of pilgrimage. They also included discussions about their ideas about sin and virtue, about the different types of religious austerities, the various ceremonies related to marriage, death, burial, widow burning, and the ways and means to attain salvation. In addition, they outlined the genealogical lineage of their deities and informed him about available written source materials.

On September 17, 1712 Ziegenbalg reported that he had received twenty-six letters from his correspondents (Ziegenbalg, 1957, 249). By January 1, 1713 he had received fifty-eight detailed letters.15 [HR, 1,11. Cont., 871-959: When Ziegenbalg travelled to Germany in 1714, his colleague J.E. Grundler continued to receive letters from the Tamils. He translated forty-four that were later published as a second collection of the Tamil Letters.] He translated them into German because they gave an insider view of South Indian religions, and revealed the degree to which the South Indians were able to understand spiritual matters without the aid of the revealed Word of God. He explained in footnotes almost all the major terms and concepts that were not readily understandable to his European readers. The collection of these letters is known as the Tamil Letters (in German: Malabarische Correspondenz, 'South Indian Correspondence,' i.e., letters from the Tamils). These letters testify to the distinct self-identify of the Tamil people and their own articulation (TamLet, 337-505).[???] They also show Ziegenbalg's comprehensive knowledge about South Indian religions, sacred scriptures and culture. His critical acumen concentrated on the evidence of the image of God among the Tamil people.

Aleppa was born around 1660 into a family (probably of higher Tamil Shudra caste) that had long worked for Europeans. Around 1700 he was "Ober-Tolk" (head translator) of the Danish trading company and the top representative of the Tamil inhabitants of the city (Grundler and Ziegenbalg 1998:18). It is not clear for what grave reasons this influential man was banished from Tranquebar; but his value to the mission is reflected both in the decision to let him return to the city and in his extraordinarily high yearly salary of 100 thalers, which surpassed even that of European employees (p. 20). After two years of work with the missionaries, Aleppa was again expelled in 1709. However, the missionaries managed to keep him on their payroll as collaborator from afar. And collaborate he did: in 1710-11 he was even imprisoned by the king of neighboring Tancavur for having "revealed all the secrets of their law and worship [Gesetzes und Gottesdienstes]" to the missionaries (p. 21).

Aleppa clearly played a central role in Ziegenbalg's introduction to the Malabar language and religion, but his influence did not end there. When Ziegenbalg and his associate Grundler needed more European support and were preparing for Ziegenbalg's journey to Germany, Denmark, and England, they paid Aleppa to write letters from exile in answer to the missionaries' questions. These answers were almost immediately translated or edited, annotated, and sent to Europe where they were published; but since Aleppa was in exile and could for various reasons not be named as a source, the missionaries decided to omit all names of correspondents. They tried to create the impression that these letters came from many different informants, and their habit of sometimes splitting a single letter into several pieces (p. 27) that supposedly came from different correspondents enhanced the readers' impression that a substantial number of Indians were involved. The first batch of fifty-five letters was printed in 1714 with a preface emphasizing that "all of these letters without exception are from heathens of the most understanding kind" who write so excellently about God that "one could hardly find better ones with the ancient Greeks and Romans, and many so-called Christians will rightly feel ashamed" (pp. 42-43). Though the Indian heathens had no way of knowing Christ "through the light of nature" and had to be saved "from their misery and blindness," the "Christian readers could not but be pleased, and the atheists ashamed, that even these heathens recognize a single supreme being and are convinced that all men can know with absolute certainty that there is a lord who created this world and everything in it" (p. 44).

Here the letter collection's preface refers to letter number 6, which is "written by someone who read and copied many books of the Christian religion in his language" (p. 115). Though unnamed, this man was, of course, Aleppa; and as in many other letters, he wonders why the missionaries, whom he had orally informed in such detail, wanted him to write about things that they already perfectly knew. The missionaries had obviously asked him to send, against payment of course, a whole series of letters with answers to their questions. The task set for this particular letter was to explain the difference between Christianity and his own religion (p. 116). Aleppa began his explanation as follows:
You know me very well and are already well aware of the limits of my knowledge and my utter incapacity of demonstrating such a difference of religion [Gesetz] -- all the more since I was about 15 years old when I entered your [colonial] services and could not yet read nor write well, not to speak of knowing something about the doctrines of our religious texts [Gesetzbucher] .... Since I know many things of your religion [Gesetz] and was educated in my best years not so much according to our but rather according to your ways, it is very difficult and even impossible for me to write about a true difference between these religions [Gesetze] based on your and our religious texts [Gesetzbucher]. But to show you my good will, I will briefly write down my opinion .... All men can know with the utmost certainty that there is a lord who created the world and everything in it. (pp. 116-17)

Time and again, Aleppa wrote to the missionaries that they already knew what they wanted him to explain, and I think that this was not just a polite formula: "You know everything much better than what I can write" (p. 49); "I also know that you already know more about our doctrines [Lehrsatze] than I can write" (p. 89); "You are those who know everything and understand what can be learned by men .... Concerning theology, wisdom, and virtue, I know nothing that you do not already know and understand; you have read and understood much more about this, and I do not presume to instruct people such as you" (p. 114).

Of course, Aleppa was well informed about the missionaries' knowledge; after all, he had been instrumental in teaching them his language and religion, and as their highest-paid, best connected, and most knowledgeable employee, he was also deeply involved in their effort to collect and study the Tamil texts listed in the Bibliotheca Malabarica of 1708. Ignorant about the planned use of his letters for raising mission funds in Europe, he could not figure out why the missionaries wanted letters about things he had so much discussed with them over the years. He expressed his puzzlement once more at the beginning of the twelfth letter:
In the year Nandanawaruschum [1712], October 15. I, N., inform the two reverends in Tranquebar that thanks to your prayers I am to date well and without the slightest ill. You desire to know something from me, namely, if we Malabars worship one God or many gods. But can it be that you are in this matter ignorant, you who have for such a long time heard all our doctrines and read in our books and have also preached against [our doctrines] to us? But since you so desire, I will write what I know about it and what everybody knows. (p. 141)

After this interesting introduction, Aleppa repeats what he apparently learned so well since his youth and discussed so many times with the missionaries:
The fact that God is a unique God [einiger Gott] is known and professed by all. ... We also say that among all [gods] there is only one who is the highest being, called at times Barabarawastu [Skt. paraparavastu, divine substance] and at times Tschiwen [Shiva], Tschatatschiwum [Skt. sadasiva, eternally graceful one], or Barabiruma [Skt. para-brahma, supreme Brahman]. This God has created all others, given each of them his duties and tasks, and ordered that they must be worshipped and prayed to. All of this is written in our law [Gesetz] and is commanded in old history books. Therefore it is among us everywhere customary to pray to the said persons. At the same time it is written in our books of law that God promised various modes of recompensation to those who worship such persons and accept them in faith and love. (p. 142)

The ordinary people of South India were thus depicted as fundamentally monotheistic, even though they had a tendency to worship the true God under different names and forms. But Aleppa also mentioned radical monotheists:
Other than that, there are also people among us who worship God the supreme being alone and always honor only this lord while they renounce everything in the world in order to keep contemplating God in their heart at all times. It is said of these [Gnanigol] that God unites with them and transforms them into himself [in sich verwandele], and also that they become invisible in the world. (p. 142)

The first fifty-five Malabar letters were published in 1714 (reprints in 1718 and 1735) and the remaining forty-four in 1717 (reprints in 1718 and 1735). A number of them soon were excerpted in English translation (Philipps 1717; Ziegenbalg and Grundler 1719), and in 1724, La Croze quoted numerous passages from Ziegenbalg's correspondence and manuscripts.6 Only in 1729, five years after the publication of La Croze's book, did readers of the Halle mission reports first learn that these letters "were mostly written by the translator of the erstwhile missionaries, Arhagappen [Aleppa], who remains a heathen, when he lived nearby and earned his living from this [letter writing] while in exile" (Grundler and Ziegenbalg 1998:17). Though some scholars still believe that many different letter authors were involved, the tone and content of the vast majority of the letters point to a single author who on occasion interviewed knowledgeable persons in his vicinity. The sequence of the first fifty-five letters supports this; the first is from October 2, 1712, and the fifty-fifth from December 10 of the same year. This comes to a bit less than one letter a day, and I may not be too wrong in hypothesizing that Aleppa was contracted to write about one letter per day. In October 1712, twenty-three letters were written, and a letter-free day is often followed by a day with two letters. Though Aleppa certainly integrated information gained from others and sometimes apologizes for drawing only on his own knowledge, these letters for the most part reflect Aleppa's views, which were, of course, developed during his long acquaintance with Europeans, his Western-style education, his years as an official interpreter, and especially his prolonged daily contact with the missionaries in his function as teacher, informant, and translator. He clearly tried to present his own religion in the best light and had adopted the Europeans' fundamental conviction that monotheism was good, while polytheism and idol-worship were evil and the devil's work. In this way European readers, including La Croze, thus read, in a manner of saying, Aleppa's correspondence course on Tamil religion that reflects his earlier lessons to the German missionaries and their discussions. The European readership learned about Indian monotheism from the very man who had introduced Ziegenbalg to Indian religions and had helped him find texts that supported this idea of Indian monotheism.


To illustrate the language and content of such correspondence, the twentieth letter of the Tamil Letter collection can be summarized. The correspondent begins his letter with the following words:

"You [Ziegenbalg] reject our deities. How can I write to you about them? If I communicate to you something that is not written in our books, then you will accuse me of lies. If I write to you the accounts of the deities as they are recorded in the books, then they will appear to you illogical. Don't be angry with me for not fulfilling your desire. However, I shall summarize the important things that are written in our religious books about our deities."

(TamLet, 434).


Then the correspondent proceeded to state the importance of the Mummurttis, namely Brahma, Visnu and Siva, their respective principal consorts and children. He wrote of Brahma as the god who created the world and destined the fate of each human being. Much attention was given to Visnu's consorts Laksmi and Bhumidevi. The correspondent elaborated the various incarnations of Visnu and Laksmi as Rama and Sita, their own son Kusa, and adopted son Lava who was created by Valmikirsi. The correspondent cited Siva, his two consorts Parvati and Gangabhavani, their two sons, namely Pillaiyar and Subrahmanya. He further stated that the titular deities, who were worshipped in temples such as Periyatampiran, Aiyanar, Pitariyar, Durga, Kali and Virabhadra, who could be appeased only through the sacrifice of goats, pigs, or cocks, and through the offerings of strong alcohol drinks and rice lumps. The prayer formulas spoken in honor of Visnu and Siva were named Astaksara and Pancaksara respectively. The writer informed Ziegenbalg that in Devaloka there are 330 million Devas ('deities, gods') and 48,000 sages. Though the South Indians do not know the names of these gods and sages in the Devaloka, they know many stories about them. Finally, the correspondent requested Ziegenbalg to refer to the metrical, monolingual, specialized dictionary of synonyms, antonyms, and contextual meanings known as the Nikantu16 [Zvelebil, 1995, 494: A Nikantu is a glossary "containing synonyms and meanings of words. [ ... ] The main feature of nikantu-type is the fact that entries are not arranged alphabetically but in sections designating groups of items (e.g., celestial beings, animals, plants, places, qualities, actions etc.), and that they give synonyms besides defining meanings." Cf. TamLet, 412: Ziegenbalg mentioned that Nikantu "is a poetical book. Every one who wishes to understand either the old or the new poetical writings, or tries to compose verses should learn it. It contains such difficult idioms that it amounts to almost a new language. No one, except the poets can understand and teach it." [???] Cf. Ziegenbalg, 1880, 62 and Gaur, 1967,69: Ziegenbalg used another dictionary titled Centam Tivakaram (written in the eighth century [???). Gaur translates Ziegenbalg's review of Centam Tivakaram: Tivakaram is "a poetical book rich in words; it is usually studied by young students when they are eight or nine years of age. The author of this book was called Diwagaram [???], he was from the Schammaner nation [i.e., a Jain] and the Malabaris [i.e., Tamils] look upon him as a highly learned man. He died five hundred and forty years ago. This book will only be studied by those who want to become scholars or at least know how to associate with scholars and understand their literary language. Common Malabaris do not understand a word of it, or at least only very little."[???]] for further information on the South Indian deities. He then concluded his letter with the following remark:

"You [Ziegenbalg] want me to explain to you our deities according to their genealogical order. How can it be possible? If you would consult the book Nikantu, you will find all the appellations of the deities that are mentioned in our poetical books. If someone wishes to write comprehensively about the deities, there is no end to it. I wished to write to you only this much. Calam ['Peace']."

(TamLet, 439).


Thus Ziegenbalg's correspondents expounded the complexities of their spirituality [???] and helped Ziegenbalg understand them. Without their help he may not have gained such a deep insight into the closely guarded secrets [???] and values of the religious systems and traditional institutions. This kind of interaction between Europeans and South Indians is unique in the history of South Indian religions.

"You [Ziegenbalg] reject our deities. How can I write to you about them?... Don't be angry with me for not fulfilling your desire. However, I shall summarize the important things that are written in our religious books about our deities."


Ziegenbalg's original concern to find out the presence of the image of God had resulted in comprehensive studies [???] on South Indian religions, society and culture. His relentless quest for the evidence of the image of God became more refined and focused. He interpreted the readily available residual image of God in the South Indians as "medium paedagogicum oder Hulfmittel" ('medium for further education and helpful resource,' HR, II, 13. Con., 47 f.).17 [Modern comparative religious studies have shown many kinds and degrees of similarities and dissimilarities among different religious traditions. Cf. Wahling, 2000, 79: Frank Whaling has identified at the observable level eight similarities among religious traditions: Each religious tradition contains a religious community, prescribes rituals for worship, rites of passage (i.e., birth, initiation, marriage and death) and festivals, unique moral system, social (at times also political) involvement, normative sacred stories, a particular view on aesthetics (in the form of art, architecture, music and iconography) and "the element of spirituality and inward prayer. Underlying all is faith."] Hence, he desired to lead the South Indians to a higher, or rather divine light that in Ziegenbalg's view was Jesus Christ.

2.2 Using the residual image of God

Ziegenbalg viewed the different kinds of religious similarities as preparatory steps necessary to effectively communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ, and having established the presence and function of the residual image of God in the South Indians, [???] Ziegenbalg addressed the various forces that shaped their beliefs, values and customs. He recognized the need for preserving their dignity, identity and continuity of all that was good and acceptable in the light of the Word of God. Thus he set himself to explore with the South Indians suitable means for an alternate way of life that would be more fulfilling.

2.2.1 By producing Christian literature in Tamil

Ziegenbalg was not the first person to translate portions of the Christian Bible into Tamil. Jesuit missionaries such as Henerique Henriques (1502-1600)18 [Cf. Rajamanickam, 1968: Since 1548 Henriques lived in the harbour city of Tuttukkutti (commonly known as Tuticorin) on the Coromandal Coast. Cf. Henriques, 1967: In the year 1586, Henriques translated the Flos Sanctorum ('Life of Saints,' i.e., the Apostles and other saints of the Roman Catholic Church) from French into Tamil.] and Roberto de Nobili (1577-1656) translated large sections of the Christian Bible into Tamil. These translated portions of the Bible may have been only with the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. However, in 1708 Ziegenbalg managed to obtain a few Tamil manuscripts that were written by Henriques19 [Of these manuscripts, Ziegenbalg liked the text that bore the German title Evangelia auff alle Sonn- und Fest-Tage durchs gantze Jahr ('Gospel readings for all Sundays and festivals throughout the year,' OIOC, SL 3027), which contained several New Testament passages meant for public reading for divine services on Sundays. Ziegenbalg explained further that ''passages were translated very accurately according to the original [Greek] text," and that he had to correct certain things and this mistake seems to have come "not from the translator, but from the copyists." He added that the Jesuits did not translate the entire Bible into Tamil because "the papal law did not allow the Bible to be read by common people," and that they would recite Latin texts and liturgies that "no Tamil could understand."] and de Nobili and read them for the sake of their style of language (Ziegenbalg, 1880, 15). It is possible that Ziegenbalg was familiar with the Tamil works of de Nobili (De Nobili, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1970).20 [De Nobili christianized several theological terms for God, angel, devil, wisdom, ignorance, good deeds, sin, human beings, soul, death, forgiveness, eternal life, and so forth.] Ulla Sandgren has shown that Ziegenbalg borrowed most of the theological terms from the Jesuits (Sandgren, 1991) and used them to creatively express Lutheran theological concepts.

During a phase of persecution in a neighboring region, a Jesuit missionary's library was stored in Tranquebar, and Ziegenbalg found himself suddenly in possession of much interesting materials that included a Tamil translation of the New Testament. This stroke of luck made him an heir to Jesuit research on terminology that had flourished since the days of Roberto de Nobili. In the Bibliotheca Malabarica of 1708, Ziegenbalg already listed sixteen Roman Catholic works and wrote that he had corrected five of them to such an extent that they could be used by his Protestant flock "without any problem" (p. 291-92).

At this early stage he thus began to employ de Nobili's loaded terminology; for example, he often used the word Caruvecuran (Skt. sarvesvara, lord of all) for God. According to Jeyaraj (2003:292), the twenty-six Tamil sermons of de Nobili contain many words picked up by Ziegenbalg -- for example, the Tamil words for God, angels, devil, world, man, soul, death, salvation, remission, and eternal life. Ziegenbalg's Tamil community was likely to learn, just like de Nobili's flock a century earlier, how important it is for manusan (Skt manusa, man) to avoid pavam (Skt. papa, evil), to embrace punniyam (Skt. punya, virtue), and to worship Caruvecuran (Skt. sarvesvara, lord of all) in the form of Barabarawastu (Skt. paraparavastu, divine substance) because there is no other path to the other shore (karai-erutal) of motcam (Skt. moksa, liberation) (p. 292).

Apart from terms for God such as Caruvecuran and Barabarawastu, the juxtaposition of jnana (knowledge, wisdom) and ajnana (ignorance) was particularly important for Ziegenbalg's view of Indian religions and his mission enterprise. The title of the first pamphlet from the brand-new Tamil mission press in Tranquebar reads: "The Veta-pramanam (Skt. vedapramana, Vedic norm) demonstrating that akkiyanam [ajnana] must be detested and how those in akkiyanam can be saved" (pp. 309-10). In the very first sentence Ziegenbalg comes straight to the point: "We have come to you in order to save you from akkiyanam" (Grafe 2004:83-84). Grafe summarizes the pamphlet's contents as follows:
(1) What is a-jnana? -- It is idol worship and moral perversion according to Rom. 1:21-32. (2) How a-jnana spread in this world. -- It did so because of the devil's deceit and men's guilt and not because of God. (3) There is much a-jnana in the whole of Tamilnadu. (4) How detestable a-jnana is. -- Because by a-jnana soul and body will be perverted and punished. (5) How God is helping those in a-jnana to be saved. -- Jesus Christ took upon himself the burden of a-jnana and delivers from ajnana saving soul and body. (6) What the things are which those who wish to be saved from a-jnana have to do .... (7) The trials and tribulations which those who give up a-jnana and enter the Church experience in the world for the sake of righteousness. (8) The benefits promised to those who give up a-jnana, accept true religion and stand in the Christian faith unshaken. (p. 84)

It is clear that Ziegenbalg used the word ajnana (ignorance) for sin, heathendom, and idolatry. On the other hand, jnana (knowledge or wisdom) stood for monotheism and the acceptance of Jesus as savior. For Ziegenbalg, ajnana involves the veneration of false devas and the worship of vikrakams (Skt. vigraha, forms or shapes) made of earth, wood, stone, and metal. By contrast, jnana signifies the exclusive worship of Baribarawastu (Skt. paraparavastu, divine substance).

-- The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App


However, Ziegenbalg was the first person to translate the entire New Testament into Tamil and, by doing so, made it available to all people (cf. Sabapathy, 1967; Pakiamuthu, 1990; Jeyaraj, 1997).
SPCK has worked overseas since its foundation. The initial focus was the British colonies in the Americas. Libraries were established for the use of clergy and their parishioners, and books were frequently shipped across the Atlantic by sail throughout the 18th century. By 1709, SPCK was spreading further afield: a printing press and trained printer were sent to Tranquebar in East India to assist in the production of the first translation of the Bible into Tamil. This was accomplished by the German Lutheran missionaries Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg and Heinrich Pluetschau from the Danish-Halle Mission.

-- Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, by Wikipedia

He found the Tamil language fitting to translate the Word of God with clarity, precision and simplicity, enabling easy understanding (Ziegenbalg, 1957, 171). In October 1708, he began translating the New Testament and completed it on the 31st of November 1711.21 [Ziegenbalg had a copy of this translation neatly written on palm leaves and had it sent to King Frederick IV. This palmleaf manuscript is now kept in the Manuscript Department of the Royal Library in Copenhagen (Call No.: Cod. Tamul 58-1).] After a few revisions he had the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles printed and published in Tranquebar (on September 25, 1714). Later he translated the Old Testament books from Genesis to Judges. Ziegenbalg's Bible translation constituted the first large prose text in Kotuntamil ('coarse, i.e., colloquial Tamil').22 [Like the authors of the books of the New Testament, who did not choose to use the literary language of the Greek philosophers such as Aristotle or Plato, but used the ordinary Koine Greek, Ziegenbalg used the colloquial form of the Tamil language. Cf. Britto, 1986: Tamil has been and remains to be diglossic language. Tamil colloquialism has a separate existence, to some extent associated with, yet independent of, the classical Tamil.] He wanted that ordinary people with or without formal education could understand the message of the New Testament. He acknowledged the following:

"We thank our father Luther greatly, even in his grave, for giving us the Word of God in our hands to be read in our mother tongue so that we ourselves can search for and know of God's Will. Who will not appreciate the great blessing that God has given to the Tamil people that now they have the Gospel in their own language, because the missionaries have translated the New Testament into the Tamil language? Now they can know and accept the plan of God for their salvation."

(AFSt/M I C 7:11, points 12 and 13).


Ziegenbalg's translation would have had great impact on the Tamil people. It is natural, simple, clear and authentic, and is still intelligible.23 [However, the Jesuit missionary, C.G. Beschi (1680-1747, from 1709/10 in Tamil country), who had mastered the Centamil ('chaste Tamil'), and probably did not like the Bible being made available to ordinary people, criticized the quality of Ziegenbalg's Tamil translation of the New Testament. Cf. Viramamunivar, 1936, 345 f. Cf. AFSt/M II B 7:14: Around 1728 Beschi had sent a Tamil letter to the Tranquebar missionary Benjamin Schultze (1689-1760). Now this letter is recovered. It shows how Beschi rebukes the Lutherans for translating the Bible into the common language of the Tamils and making it available to them. He accuses them of having mixed poison (i.e., translation) with food (the Bible), and of hiding the pearl (i.e., the Bible) in mud (i.e., translation).] It is indeed a great achievement of Ziegenbalg.

However, Ziegenbalg was sometimes overconfident and denied the help of the Tamil people.24 [HR, I, 1. Con., 19 ff.: Ziegenbalg's own words reveal his pride and they can be summarized as follows: "I want to do this translation alone. I wish to have a Tamil secretary to write down my dictated text. In this translation I do not need the help of any person. Even if I want to get help, I cannot get any assistance. There is no Christian or Tamil, who can translate and write a correct sentence in prose."] As a result he used certain phrases that his readers would not readily understand. For example, like the Jesuits before him, he used the Portuguese word: ispirintu cantu for the 'Holy Spirit.' On the seacoast where people were familiar with the Portuguese terms, this might have made some sense; others however would not have understood it. Had Ziegenbalg used the neutral noun paricutta avi ('very clean spirit,' i.e., Holy Spirit) and addressed the Holy Spirit in the honorific third person singular (e.g., paricutta aviyanavar, 'the respected person, who is the Holy Spirit'), all Tamil people would have grasped the meaning better.
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Re: Genealogy of the South Indian Deities, by Daniel Jeyaraj

Postby admin » Mon Jun 27, 2022 9:44 pm

Part 2 of 2

Ziegenbalg composed a few Tamil church hymns (AFSt/P TAM 37, palm leaves 151v-169v) and used several concepts that are prevalent in the bhakti traditions. A brief review of the recently recovered forty-eight hymns sung in the Jerusalem church in Tranquebar in 1714,25 [Germann, I, 1868,315: On July 16, 1714 Ziegenbalg revised the hymns sung in the church. He added fifteen new hymns. Altogether there were forty-eight hymns.] written on palm leaves, gives the varieties of religious themes covered in the hymnody.26 [AFSt/P TAM 92: This palm leaf manuscript consists of fifty-eight leaves. Cf. Reg. 107. Laeg. 6, diary entry on November 20, 1714: "I have made corrections in the Tamil song book which was copied by the writers because it has to be given this week for printing." On 22.11.1714 the songbook with forty-eight hymns was given for printing, and 300 copies of the printed version were released on January 24, 1715. The forty-eight hymns are divided as follows: the first eleven hymns describe the magnificence of Christ's incarnation, his various names, substitutionary death on the cross, and resurrection. The next three hymns deal with the Holy Spirit. Four other hymns praise the triune God. Two hymns are dedicated to the Word of God. Two songs tell the greatness of the Sacraments -- one describing baptism and the other the Lord's Supper. Two other hymns emphasize the need for repentance. The remaining hymns deal with good life and works, suffering as a heavenly mystery, the reality of death and the hope of resurrection. Besides a morning and an evening song, there is a very large litany comprising fifty-six petitions addressed to God.] Ziegenbalg also translated Martin Luther's Catechisms into Tamil, wrote open letters (cf. Ziegenbalg, 1712) to the Tamil people and invited them to become Christians.

All these aforementioned literary efforts were meant to lead the Tamil people from their natural knowledge of God to the special knowledge of God that is revealed in the Christian Bible. He thus built on the residual image of God in the Tamil people and developed it in a way that helped them to understand the message of the Bible in their cultural context, but at the same time recognized its otherness.

2.2.2 By establishing a Tamil church

Lutheranism teaches that the church is the place where the Word of God is preached rightly, the sacraments administered properly27 [Cf. Triglot Concordia, 1921, 47: The Seventh Article of the Augsburg Confession (1530) defines the Lutheran understanding of the church as "the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered. And to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike. As Paul says: One faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, etc. Eph. 4, 5, 6."] and appropriate provision made to accommodate certain special traditions, customs and rites that are necessary for a specific congregation in a particular context.28 [Triglot Concordia, 1921, 1053: The Tenth Article of the Book of Concord explains the doctrine of Adiaphora ('middle or unimportant things'), by making place for "ceremonies and church rites which are neither commanded nor forbidden in God's Word, but are introduced into the Church with a good intention, for the sake of good order and propriety, or otherwise to maintain Christian discipline."] Following these guidelines Ziegenbalg organized an emerging indigenous church in Tranquebar so that the Tamil Christians could realize that they were Christians and Tamil people at the same time.

When Ziegenbalg baptized the five slaves on May 12, 1707, the first Protestant church in Tranquebar, purely meant for the South Indian Christians, began to take shape.29 [Germann, 1883, 529 f.: The three male slaves received their baptismal names as "Friedrich, Christian and Conrad." They were the servants of Johann Sigismund Hassius (1704-1716), the Danish Governor in Tranquebar. One woman was Sophia. She was a slave belonging to the tax collector Diedrich in Tranquebar. The fifth baptized person was Hetwiga, a slave girl belonging to Eidzil Abigael Bergs, the widow of the Danish pastor living in Tranquebar. Thus the first members of the Protestant church were slaves of Europeans. [of the Dutch!] They began their catechetical lessons on January 22, 1707, and were baptized on September 5, 1707. Andreas was not a slave, but a free person. After his baptism he was appointed a teacher of the Tamil school of the mission. The thirty-year old Johann Almeda was also a free Tamil man and served the mission as a catechist. Anna, Francisca and Tavaciayi ('penitent mother') were the daughters of Johann Almeda. Dominca was a free Tamil woman and a merchant.] Most of the converts received German baptismal names, most probably because Europeans in Tranquebar could not pronounce the personal Tamil names properly. However, there may have been dual names as the converts may have used their pre-Christian names in their social intercourse with their Indian neighbors, and their baptismal name in relation to the Europeans. To cite an example: on September 5, 1707, Ziegenbalg's servant Cepperumal was baptized with the German name Andreas. He was a Vaishnavite and merchant. Though Europeans called him Andreas, other Tamil people, especially the non-Christians would have continued to call him Cepperumal or Andreas alias Cepperumal (Germann, I, 1868, 276). By August 1708, there were about 102 church members in the Jerusalem church. Most of them were slaves of Europeans in Tranquebar; a few however were free Tamil people who became Christians along with the members of their families.30 [AFSt/M II A 6: The list of names of church members from May 12, 1707 to September 27, 1708. For a printed version of this list see Germann, 1883, 529-533.]

Sir William Jones, in a charge to the grand jury at Calcutta, in 1785, described the miseries of slavery existing at that period, even in the metropolis of British India. "I am assured, from evidence which, though not all judicially taken, has the strongest hold on my belief, that the condition of slaves within our jurisdiction is, beyond imagination, deplorable; and that cruelties are daily practised on them, chiefly on those of the tenderest age and the weaker sex, which, if it would not give me pain to repeat, and you to hear, yet, for the honour of human nature, I should forbear to particularize. If I except the English from this censure, it is not through partial affection to my own countrymen, but because my information relates chiefly to people of other nations, who likewise call themselves Christians. Hardly a man or a woman exists in a corner of this populous town, who hath not at least one slave child, either purchased at a trifling price, or saved, perhaps, from a death that might have been fortunate, for a life that seldom fails of being miserable. Many of you, I presume, have seen large boats filled with such children, coming down the river for open sale at Calcutta; nor can you be ignorant that most of them were stolen from their parents, or bought, perhaps, for a measure of rice in a time of scarcity; and that the sale itself is a defiance of this government, by violating one of its positive orders, which was made some years ago, after a consultation of the most reputable Hindoos in Calcutta, who condemned such a traffic as repugnant to their shastra. The number of small houses, in which these victims are pent, makes it indeed very difficult for the settlement at large to be apprized of their condition; and, if the sufferers knew where or how to complain, their very complaints may expose them to still harsher treatment — to be tortured, if remanded, or if set at liberty, to starve. Be not discouraged by the difficulty of your inquiries; your vigilance cannot but surmount it; and one great example of a just punishment, not capital, will conduce more to the prevention of similar cruelties, than the strongest admonition or the severest verbal reproof. Should the slave-holders, through hardness of heart, or confidence in their places of concealment, persist in their crimes, you will convince them, that their punishment will certainly follow their offence, and the most hardened of them will, no doubt, discontinue the contest."* [Par. Papers on Slavery in India, p. 10. For an affecting account of a slave girl seized at Serampore, see pp. 48-50.]

-- Book V: Slavery, Excerpt from "India’s Cries to British Humanity, Relative to Infanticide, British Connection with Idolatry, Ghaut Murders, Suttee, Slavery, and Colonization in India; to Which are Added, Humane Hints for the Melioration of the State of Society in British India", by James Peggs, 1832

P. 119-122

Unhealthy garrison stations, unnecessary hardships and privations produced extraordinary casualties in the Dutch native army, which had to be constantly recruited by conscription. “The conscripts raised in the provinces were usually sent to the metropolis by water; and though the distance be but short between any two points of the island, a mortality, similar to that of a slave-ship in the middle passage, took place on board these receptacles of reluctant recruits. They were generally confined in the stocks till their arrival at Batavia, and it is calculated that for every man that entered the army and performed the duties of a soldier, several lives were lost. Besides the supply of the army, one-half of the male population of the country was constantly held in readiness for other public services; and thus a great portion of the effective hands were taken from their families, and detained at a distance from home, in labours which broke their spirit and exhausted their strength.”

The forced services hitherto mentioned were more or less legalised injustice: but treatment, if it be possible, yet more cruel and lawless remains behind.


“The coasting vessels belonging to Chinese, Arabs, and others, navigate throughout the whole extent of the Archipelago, to Malacca and Acheen on one side, and to the Moluccas and New Guinea on the other. The class of common sailors on board these ships is almost exclusively composed of the natives of Java, who are known in the East under the general denomination of Malays. According to the maritime customs of the Malay peoples, all persons on board, from the captain downwards, including the petty officers, have an interest, however small, in the cargo, while the common sailors, Javans, are protected by these petty officers, their own countrymen.” As the native traders “do not possess the authority to obtain crews by force, it is only by a character for good treatment, by attention to the usages, prejudices, and comfort of the crews, that they can insure an adequate supply of hands.” As a consequence, “among themselves, the maritime population is distinguished for good faith and attachment,” “ and no instances occur of the crews rising either upon the Arab or Chinese commander: they are, on the contrary, found to be faithful, hardworking, and extremely docile.” On the other hand, when so-called “Malays” are employed in vessels belonging to Europeans, they frequently mutiny, and massacre their officers. The reasons for this difference are given in the following passages from Raffles’s paper on the “Maritime Institutions of the Malays”: —

“The Javans are originally not a seafaring people; they have an aversion for distant voyages, and require the strongest inducements to quit the land, even for a coasting expedition in the smooth seas of their own Archipelago, beyond which, if they ever engage themselves on board a colonial vessel, they make an express agreement not to be carried. European vessels in want of hands for more distant voyages to Europe, India, and China, have been compelled therefore to resort to force or fraud, as the means of obtaining crews.

“The Dutch Government were in the habit of employing people as kidnappers, who prowled about at night, pounced upon the unwary peasant who might be passing alone, and hurried him on ship-board. When the direct influence of Government was not used, the native regents or chiefs were employed to obtain people for the crews of vessels: this they did sometimes in the same manner, though more frequently condemning to sea as many as were required, by an indiscriminate draft on the neighbouring population. The native chiefs were perhaps paid a certain head-money, on what may have been considered by the European commanders as nothing more than crimpage. The people who were seized were seldom of a seafaring class, but almost entirely landsmen, in many instances, perhaps, opium-smokers, or persons obtained from the lowest and most worthless part of the community. Once embarked, their fate was sealed for ever, and due care was taken that they never landed again on Java, as long as their services as sailors were required.

"In general, neither their language nor customs are in the least understood by their new master, for though most of the commanders in the eastern trade may speak the Malayan language and be accustomed to the Malayan character, they know nothing of the Javan language, and but little of the manners, habits, and prejudices of the Javan people.”


On the subject of slavery in the island Raffles wrote as follows in one of his Reports to Lord Minto:—

"The Dutch had introduced slavery into Java on the ground that there did not exist in the island a class of people sufficiently adroit and docile for household service, and that they had therefore to create a class of domestic servants by rearing in their families children brought from other countries. But 'the Javans, during the residence of the British in Java’ were 'found perfectly trustworthy, faithful, and industrious; and the demand was alone wanting in this, as in most cases, to create a sufficient supply of competent domestics.’ The native Javans were never reduced to slavery,’ and the slave merchants drew their supplies in consequence from the neighbouring islands, particularly from Bali and Celebes. From returns obtained in 1814, it appeared that there were about 30,000 slaves in Java, of whom 27,142 were concentrated about the centres of Dutch life; the Samarang and Surabaya divisions containing 8170, while no less than 18,972 were crowded into either the Dutch capital, Batavia, or its environs. A few of these slaves worked for their masters at some handicraft or trade, or on their estates; but the majority were domestic servants.

“‘These slaves are the property of the Europeans and Chinese alone; the native chiefs (i.e . on Java itself) ‘never require the services of slaves, or engage in the traffic of slavery.’

‘Although they (the Dutch) adopted principles that admitted of the most cruel and wanton treatment of slaves, I would not be understood to say that they carried these principles into common practice. The contrary was almost universally the case.’

“‘The regulations and colonial statutes respecting slavery seem to have been framed on the principles of humanity, and with attention to the genius of the Christian religion;' but the Dutch carried with them into their Eastern empire the Roman law regarding slavery in all its extent and rigour. A slave was considered as a real property, incapable of personal rights, from which consideration the ill-treatment of a master towards his slave was not so much estimated on the principle of personal injury, as that of a proprietor abusing his own property; and although a slave, under such a system, might obtain a portion of property for himself with the consent of his master, his possession was always precarious, and depended on the discretion of his proprietor (in the same manner as a peculium adventitium with the Romans), becoming only the unlimited property of the slave, if the master allowed him to keep it after his emancipation.’”


-- The Life of Sir Stamford Raffles, by Demetrius Charles Boulger, With Portraits, Maps and Illustrations, 1897

In 1713, there were 126 Tamil Christians in Tranquebar, who formed the nucleus of an alternate socio-religious community [???] (SPCK, ME Cr 3, page 251: dated October 3, 1710). Within the church they followed the prescribed Danish liturgy.31[HR, I, 3. Con., 139 f: Ziegenbalg's report dated August 27, 1709: ''The Holy Eucharist is administered according to the Danish liturgy. Those who wish to receive Eucharist, must report to us eight days in advance, come to us daily for an hour of teaching and advice. The sacrament of baptism is also arranged according to the Danish liturgy."] However, they adopted as part of their Christian life certain Tamil habits connected with marriages and funerals [???].32 [Germann, 1,1868,313 f. Cf. FIR, I, 9. Con., 775: On May 28,1714 Ziegenbalg had a dialogue with a group of Tamils who came to see the printing press in Tranquebar. He informed them that the Tamil Christians had freedom to wear any dress, eat any food and observe any good social behavior. However, they would not apply holy ash on their foreheads, wear the beads around their neck, have extravagant marriage processions and use the Tali. Germann contends that the missionary reports did not report on how the bridegroom tied the Tali around the neck of the bride, and without the symbol of Tali no Tamil marriage would be complete. For more information on the use of the Tali in the early period of Tranquebar Mission see Jeyaraj, 1996, 245-250.] Ziegenbalg also reported that the church music was followed a certain system of South Indian tunes that the Tamil children used in their schools to learn new lessons.33 [HR, I, 6. Con., 228 (dated 26.3.1707): "Different Christian teachings are composed songs following the melody of the Tamils, and are sung by the young students of our schools." Cf. Germann, I, 1868, 316: Especially, there were two schoolteachers who were composing Christian songs in Tamil meters and teaching Tamil tunes to schoolchildren. One of them was Kanampati Vattiyar ('teacher who composes/sings songs') who became a Christian in 1709 and was baptized with the name Christian David. He was responsible for many of the above mentioned forty-eight hymns that were sung in the Jerusalem Church.]

Ziegenbalg returned to India in August 1716, bringing with him the woman he had married while in Europe, Maria Dorothea Saltzman. Although he continued to work on translation into Tamil—of the Old Testament and of works of Christian theology—his letters in the years leading up to his death are full of accounts of other work: preaching, printing, establishing schools, constructing a new church building, and defending the mission against its critics. Investigation of “heathenism” was delegated to a converted Tamil scholar, who was to draw up a lengthy book on the doctrines of the “heathen poets” which was to be kept in the mission rather than sent to Europe for publication.33 [Ziegenbalg and Gründler to the Mission Board in Copenhagen, Tranquebar, 20 November 1717, in Lehmann, Alte Briefe, 421, 59. This scholar was Kaṇapati Vāttiyār, who took the name Friedrich Christian at his baptism. He had earlier been an important source of books for Ziegenbalg’s collection (see below, 32f.). There is no trace of his book, although an earlier manuscript by him survives (AFSt/M tam 87).] In 1718, Ziegenbalg prepared for publication transcripts of twenty dialogues with Hindus and Muslims, which were published after his death (hb 15, 16, 17)....

While Ziegenbalg reports that many people sought the missionaries out for such discussions, a key figure in shaping his early impressions was an elderly schoolmaster. [Name???] From early September he held his classes in the missionaries’ house, Ziegenbalg and Plütschau sitting with the children and tracing Tamil letters in the sand. While the schoolmaster spoke only Tamil, Ziegenbalg nevertheless reports daily conversations with him from before the time he began learning Tamil.13 The impact was immediate: “I must confess, my seventy-year-old schoolmaster often poses such questions that I can clearly see that not everything in their philosophy can be so irrational as is fondly imagined of the heathen at home.”...14

6 Thus it was that Ziegenbalg, less than two months after his arrival in India, began to acquire Tamil books, at first by having the schoolmaster copy them out for him.16 Within two years he had assembled a collection of well over a hundred Tamil texts.

7 The importance Ziegenbalg placed on his study of Tamil literature is clear from an account of his daily routine in a letter dated 8 August 1708. The letter was sent, with a copy of the Bibliotheca Malabarica, to Franz Julius Lütkens, the court preacher in Copenhagen, through whom Ziegenbalg had been recruited for the mission.17 From eight o’clock until noon, Ziegenbalg read works new to him, in the presence of “an old poet”—most likely the same schoolmaster—who commented on and explained them....

52 At first Ziegenbalg obtained books from those who instructed him and his colleague in Tamil, among them the elderly schoolmaster who, according to Ziegenbalg, was able to recite the whole of Tirukkuṟaḷ and “many other difficult books accurately from memory.”118 Ziegenbalg first mentions having this schoolmaster copy out books for him
in a letter dated 2 September 1706. Like most of the very earliest of Ziegenbalg’s known letters, the manuscript of this letter is not extant,119 but a number of printed editions exist. Most often cited is an abbreviated version, published in the 1708 in the second edition of Ziegenbalg’s early letters edited by Joachim Lange under the title Merckwürdige Nachricht.120 An English translation of this version by Anton Wilhelm Böhme was published in the following year, under the title Propagation of the Gospel in the East. A much fuller version of the letter had already appeared in German in 1708 in a kind of unofficial third edition of the Merckwürdige Nachricht, edited by Christian Gustav Bergen.121 The letter is roughly twice as long in Bergen’s edition which, together with other material included in Bergen’s edition but not available elsewhere, suggests he had access to the letters in manuscript. The letter includes an account of Brahmā’s revelation of four books [VEDAS!], one of which was lost along with one of Brahmā’s heads when he contested Śiva’s supremacy. In the version edited by Lange, we read that while Ziegenbalg asked the schoolmaster to transcribe the remaining three of these for him: “he could not bring himself to do it, for it would be against their law to allow a Christian to have access to them.”122 In Bergen’s version, however, we read that the three books are being written out in Tamil for Ziegenbalg. Ziegenbalg states only that this had never before been done for any Christian, adding that they would not have done it for him either, had it not been for his familiarity and friendship with them.123 The account of their revelation by Brahmā suggests that the four books in question—one being lost—are the four Vedas, but this is very probably a detail taken from Baldaeus,124 on whom Ziegenbalg later admits to having relied in this letter (mh 14). Ziegenbalg’s description of the content of the books125 suggests that the schoolmaster had identified some Tamil works which he regarded as in some sense equivalent to the Veda.126 While it is impossible to identify these three books with any particular works in Ziegenbalg’s later collection, we can identify with some confidence other works which he would have obtained from the schoolmaster....

54 Ziegenbalg maintained six Tamil scribes in his household134 and would thus have been able to acquire copies of all of these works in the traditional manner described by Ebeling, that is, by having the schoolmaster dictate them to the scribes. The schoolmaster may also have provided other texts, and Ziegenbalg directly ascribes one book, a work on the human body (bm 98), to him. There were limits to this method, however. The schoolmaster had a copy of Kampaṉ’s Irāmāvatāram, but it was too large to be copied135 and he was unwilling to sell his copy to Ziegenbalg. In the letter that accompanied his catalogue when he sent it to Europe, Ziegenbalg also notes that having books copied was expensive, and that he therefore sent his scribes “many days’ journey” into the hinterland of Tranquebar where they were able to buy books cheaply from the widowed wives of Brahmins.136

55 Ziegenbalg also mentions that the schoolmaster’s son, whom he names as Kaṇapati Vāttiyār, “obtained very many books for me.”137 Vāttiyār, the Tamil form of the Sanskrit upādhyāya, refers to a teacher and scholar and Ziegenbalg states that Kaṇapati exceeded his father’s scholarship (hb 6: 263). Kaṇapati is much discussed in the mission archives because of the storm created by his conversion in 1709, which almost certainly brought Ziegenbalg’s relationship with his father to an end (hb 6: 264–65). Ziegenbalg describes at length the attempts made by his parents and friends to dissuade Kaṇapati from conversion, at first with pleas and promises and finally “with violence.”

56 Ziegenbalg had already noted the previous year that once they knew he was using their books against them, the Tamils became reluctant to provide him with copies of them.138 It is nevertheless perhaps significant that in a letter written at the height of the storm over Kaṇapati’s conversion, just a few days prior to his long-awaited baptism, Ziegenbalg again notes the difficulty of obtaining Tamil books.139 For it is possible that Kaṇapati’s father was not the only member of his family who helped Ziegenbalg to obtain books.57 One of those who tried to prevent Kaṇapati’s conversion was his father-in-law, a maṇiyakkāraṉ.140 We can perhaps identify him with a maṇiyakkāraṉ called Kaḷiyapiḷḷai whom Ziegenbalg describes variously as as “revenue officer” (Zöllner) and headman among the Tamils.141 Kaḷiyapiḷḷai is also said by Ziegenbalg to have provided him with “various of his books,” including one which Ziegenbalg ascribes to Kaḷiyapiḷḷai’s father (bm 91). This is a varukka kōvai on Nākappaṭṭiṉam,142 and is one of several works in Ziegenbalg’s collection relating to Nākappaṭṭiṉam.143 While we cannot be sure that the maṇiyakkāraṉ called Kaḷiyapiḷḷai is the same maṇiyakkāraṉ who was Kaṇapati’s father-in-law, Kaṇapati may well have had familial connections with Nākappaṭṭiṉam. Some time after 1717, Kaṇapati converted to Catholicism and by 1727, when two Tranquebar missionaries met him, he had reverted to Śaiva practice and was living in Nākappaṭṭiṉam[/size][/u][/i][/b] (hb 29: 496).

58 Whether we have here one maṇiyakkāraṉ or two, the fact that some of Ziegenbalg’s books were supplied by a maṇiyakkāraṉ points to an intriguing possible connection with the manuscript culture of the maṭams at Tiruvāvaṭutuṟai and Tarumapuram. The term maṇiyakkāraṉ can, as Ziegenbalg notes, refer to a village headman, one who has mānya, or tax-free, rights in land, but the term is also used by the Śaiva maṭams to refer to those who collect rent on their behalf.144 It is at least possible, that this was the position of Kaḷiyapiḷḷai and/or Kaṇapati’s father-in-law. Despite their importance for Tamil literary culture in the late medieval145 and modern periods,146 there are relatively few studies of these maṭams.147...

As Ziegenbalg states, the catalyst for the transformation in his view of the Tamils was the learning of their language. Initially he and Plutschau had learned the Tamil script with the help of an old schoolmaster, who later did much to transform Ziegenbalg's view of Hindus:

Indeed, I must confess that my 70 year old tutor often asks such questions as to make me realize that in their philosophy everything is by no means so unreasonable as we in our country usually imagine about such heathen. They are so clever that if they heard the learned men in Europe dispute on the rostrum about logic, rhetoric, and metaphysics, they would laugh scornfully and consider such skill as the greatest stupidity, because they like free, unrestrained and clear speaking with good reasoning and do not indulge in figures of speech.25


This schoolmaster, however, knew no Portuguese, and therefore they had initially no common tongue in which he could explain to them the grammar of the language. The missionaries therefore hired, at considerable expense, a former translator to the Danish Company [Alakappan or Aleppa.].

-- Bibliotheca Malabarica, by Will Sweetman with R. Ilakkuvan, Institut Francais de Pondichery, 2012


Ziegenbalg aimed at an indigenous church. He did not want complete social and cultural dislocation of the converts. Hence, he defined conversion as manacai-t tirupputal ('turning, changing and reorienting the heart, mind and will,' cf. Ziegenbalg, Vetacasttiram, 1717, 445), which occurs only at the intervention of God (HR, I, 8. Con., 530 and 532). This conversion does not mean either changing one's name or exchanging the place of worship (e.g., church instead of temple) or total break with the social dignity, code of honor, cultural identity, way of dressing and eating [???] (Germann, I, 1868, 290). No Tamil person was required to become a German in order to express his/her Christian faith. [???] Conversion should transform the heart and mind of the people in such a way that they get new perspective on life, values, socio-cultural and economic interaction.

According to Ziegenbalg, the new church in Tranquebar could learn from European Christianity, but would have to be essentially an Indian indigenous institution rooted in the Tamil cultural context.34 [Cf. Nestingen, 2001,450: "Christ's cross and resurrection together attack both of the false alternatives. The cross acknowledges the reality of discontinuity, dislocation, and loss, of a world and a self at odds with themselves. The resurrection declares the new reality of life given under the sign of death, hope under despair, faith in the midst of unbelief." [!!!]] A German church should not be transplanted in the South Indian context, rather the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be planted in Tranquebar so that an Indian Christian church could emerge [!!!] and challenge every human habit and every social system that was inhuman and unjust. One of the ways to promote indigenous church growth was to establish a system of giving loans. Under certain circumstances Ziegenbalg made small financial assistance available to poor Christians so that they could learn to live an independent human life.35 [AFSt/M II C 5, pages 36 f.: Small financial help was made available to the Christians, when there was a famine and Christians could not get a job and take care of themselves, when they became sick and could not buy medicine, when someone died and that person's relatives could not meet funeral costs, when Christians needed clothes, but could not buy them because of their low wages, or when they needed some money to build a house or to boost their business, they could approach the missionaries for help. Ziegenbalg mentioned further that the Christians had a strong work ethic and everyone was expected to work hard and earn a livelihood. If some Christians were appointed in the mission to work as a cook, gardener, teacher, catechist, etc., they were paid according to their assignment and need.]

Within the church community the women enjoyed a special status of equality and freedom to make their own decisions. [???]

By August 1708, there were about 102 church members in the Jerusalem church. Most of them were slaves of Europeans in Tranquebar; a few however were free Tamil people who became Christians along with the members of their families.

-- Genealogy of the South Indian Deities: An English translation of Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg's original German manuscript with a textual analysis and glossary [Christian Propaganda], by Daniel Jeyaraj

Ziegenbalg was often accused of allowing both women and men to sit together in worship services, and participate together in the Eucharist. On May 28, 1714, he expressed his view that because of the image of God in all human beings he would not tolerate any social discrimination based on gender or caste issues. Within the church community both women and men had an equal opportunity to learn reading and writing, claim their rights and exercise their responsibility in a divided community (HR, 1, 9. Con., 772-776). The church as an alternate socio-religious institution helped its members to regain their human dignity, re-interpret the meaning of being created in the image of God, find ways to alleviating poverty and illiteracy, live a good human life and seek to achieve a higher quality of social wellbeing. [???] This dual identity of being responsible Christians and Indians simultaneously was a mark of the first Protestant indigenous church in South India.
17th century

Slavery existed in Portuguese India after the 16th century. "Most of the Portuguese," says Albert. D. Mandelslo, a German itinerant writer, "have many slaves of both sexes, whom they employ not only on and about their persons, but also upon the business they are capable of, for what they get comes with the master."

The Dutch, too, largely dealt in slaves. They were mainly Abyssian, known in India as Habshis or Sheedes. The curious mixed race in Kanara on the West coast has traces of these slaves.[86]

The Dutch Indian Ocean slave trade was primarily mediated by the Dutch East India Company, drawing captive labour from three commercially closely linked regions: the western, or Southeast Africa, Madagascar, and the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius and Reunion); the middle, or Indian subcontinent (Malabar, Coromandel, and the Bengal/Arakan coast); and the eastern, or Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea (Irian Jaya), and the southern Philippines.

The Dutch traded slaves from fragmented or weak small states and stateless societies in the East beyond the sphere of Islamic influence, to the company's Asian headquarters, the "Chinese colonial city" of Batavia (Jakarta), and its regional centre in coastal Sri Lanka. Other destinations included the important markets of Malacca (Melaka) and Makassar (Ujungpandang), along with the plantation economies of eastern Indonesia (Maluku, Ambon, and Banda Islands), and the agricultural estates of the southwestern Cape Colony (South Africa).

On the Indian subcontinent, Arakan/Bengal, Malabar, and Coromandel remained the most important source of forced labour until the 1660s. Between 1626 and 1662, the Dutch exported on an average 150–400 slaves annually from the Arakan-Bengal coast. During the first thirty years of Batavia's existence, Indian and Arakanese slaves provided the main labour force of the company's Asian headquarters. Of the 211 manumitted slaves in Batavia between 1646 and 1649, 126 (59.71%) came from South Asia, including 86 (40.76%) from Bengal. Slave raids into the Bengal estuaries were conducted by joint forces of Magh pirates, and Portuguese traders (chatins) operating from Chittagong outside the jurisdiction and patronage of the Estado da India, using armed vessels (galias). These raids occurred with the active connivance of the Taung-ngu (Toungoo) rulers of Arakan. The eastward expansion of the Mughal Empire, however, completed with the conquest of Chittagong in 1666, cut off the traditional supplies from Arakan and Bengal. Until the Dutch seizure of the Portuguese settlements on the Malabar coast (1658–63), large numbers of slaves were also captured and sent from India's west coast to Batavia, Ceylon, and elsewhere. After 1663, however, the stream of forced labour from Cochin dried up to a trickle of about 50–100 and 80–120 slaves per year to Batavia and Ceylon, respectively.

In contrast with other areas of the Indian subcontinent, Coromandel remained the centre of a sporadic slave trade throughout the seventeenth century. In various short-lived expansions accompanying natural and human-induced calamities, the Dutch exported thousands of slaves from the east coast of India. A prolonged period of drought followed by famine conditions in 1618–20 saw the first large-scale export of slaves from the Coromandel coast in the seventeenth century. Between 1622 and 1623, 1,900 slaves were shipped from central Coromandel ports, like Pulicat and Devanampattinam. Company officials on the coast declared that 2,000 more could have been bought if only they had the funds.

The second expansion in the export of Coromandel slaves occurred during a famine following the revolt of the Nayaka Indian rulers of South India (Tanjavur, Senji, and Madurai) against Bijapur overlordship (1645) and the subsequent devastation of the Tanjavur countryside by the Bijapur army. Reportedly, more than 150,000 people were taken by the invading Deccani Muslim armies to Bijapur and Golconda. In 1646, 2,118 slaves were exported to Batavia, the overwhelming majority from southern Coromandel. Some slaves were also acquired further south at Tondi, Adirampatnam, and Kayalpatnam.

A third phase in slaving took place between 1659 and 1661 from Tanjavur as a result of a series of successive Bijapuri raids. At Nagapatnam, Pulicat, and elsewhere, the company purchased 8,000–10,000 slaves, the bulk of whom were sent to Ceylon while a small portion were exported to Batavia and Malacca. A fourth phase (1673–77) started from a long drought in Madurai and southern Coromandel starting in 1673, and intensified by the prolonged Madurai-Maratha struggle over Tanjavur and punitive fiscal practices. Between 1673 and 1677, 1,839 slaves were exported from the Madurai coast alone. A fifth phase occurred in 1688, caused by poor harvests and the Mughal advance into the Karnatak. Thousands of people from Tanjavur, mostly girls and little boys, were sold into slavery and exported by Asian traders from Nagapattinam to Aceh, Johor, and other slave markets. In September 1687, 665 slaves were exported by the East India Company from Fort St. George, Madras. Finally, in 1694–96, when warfare once more ravaged South India, a total of 3,859 slaves were imported from Coromandel by private individuals into Ceylon.[87] [88] [89][90]

The volume of the total Dutch Indian Ocean slave trade has been estimated to be about 15–30% of the Atlantic slave trade, slightly smaller than the trans-Saharan slave trade, and one-and-a-half to three times the size of the Swahili and Red Sea coast and the Dutch West India Company slave trades.[91]

Slavery in Malabar

The main agrestic slave castes in Malabar were Pulayars, Parayars, Kuruvars, Cherumas. The principal Collector estimated that the Pulayars and Cherumars constituted about half of the slave population. Buchannan in 1801 stated that almost all cultivators were slaves. He stated that the slaves were primarily used for field labouring and the degree of slavery was the worst among the Parayars, Pulayans and Kuravans who were made to work like beasts. Cheruvans and Pulayans were brought to the towns to be bought and sold. The slave population increased by 65 percent in 36 years from 1806 to 1842. Children born to slaves were also made slaves.[92] According to Dr. Francis Buchanan's estimate in 1801 AD, 41,367 people were slaves in the Malabar's south, central, and northern divisions, out of a total population of 292,366. Travancore had 164,864 slaves in 1836, out of a total population of 1,280,668. During the middle of the nineteenth century, Kerala had an estimated 4.25 lakh (425,000) slaves.[93]

Social oppression was also part of slavery. They were not allowed to wear clean clothes and were to keep away from the roads of their masters who were Brahmin and Nairs. Major Walker stated that they were left out to nature and abandoned when they suffered from diseases and some times made to stand in rice fields for hours which gave them Rheumatism, Cholera and other diseases.[92] The slaves belonged to the lower castes and were employed only for feudal work, and the stigma that they should be kept away from their masters was strictly followed. Samuel Mateer, noted that even in the working fields the slaves were supervised from a distance.[93] The caste system kept them as untouchables and divided into numerous sub-castes. The condition of the Cherumars was no different in 19th century, the Kerala Patrike in 1898 wrote that the Cherumar slaves had high regards for their masters because the higher castes convinced them that they were obliged at birth to serve the Higher castes.[92]

Between 1871 and 1881, an estimated 40,000 slaves converted to Islam, according to the 1881 census. During this time, many slaves in Cochin and Travancore converted to Christianity. It was stated at the 1882 Christian Mission Conference that the population of Muslim Mapillas was rapidly expanding due to conversions from the lower strata of Hindu society, and that the entire west coast could become Muslim in such a phase.[93]

18th to 20th century

Between 1772 and 1833, debates in the British Parliament recorded the volume of slavery in India.[94] A slave market was noted as operating in Calcutta, and the Company Court House permitted slave ownership to be registered, for a fee of Rs. 4.25 or Rs.4 and 4 annas.[95]

A number of abolitionist missionaries, including Rev. James Peggs, Rev. Howard Malcom, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, and William Adams offered commentaries on the Parliamentary debates, and added their own estimates of the numbers effected by, and forms of slavery in South Asia, by region and caste, in the 1830s. In a series of publications that included their: "India’s Cries to British Humanity, Relative to Infanticide, British Connection with Idolatry, Ghau Murders, Suttee, Slavery, and Colonization in India", "Slavery and the slave trade in British India; with notices of the existence of these evils in the islands of Ceylon, Malacca, and Penang, drawn from official documents", and "The Law and Custom of Slavery in British India: In a Series of Letters to Thomas Fowell Buxton, Esq" tables were published detailing the estimates.

-- Slavery in India, by Wikipedia

2.2.3 By founding Tamil schools

Ziegenbalg and his colleague Grundler knew that in Halle Pietism schools were a part of the church, and they were also agents of Christian upbringing and social change (Ziegenbalg, 1957, 311). Ziegenbalg wanted to create a learning situation in which pietistic principles could be associated with the traditional learning situation of Tamil children. At that time, some of his converts requested him to start residential schools for their children. Soon a Tamil school for boys, and by contrast to local custom, a Tamil school for girls36 [Cf. TamLet, 447 f.: Ziegenbalg observed that the Tamils got their daughters married at a very young age. It was usual that boys and girls were kept separately not only in public, but also in the same home to avoid immorality that was, in Ziegenbalg's view, common among Europeans. Daughters of ordinary people did not learn to read and write because the difficult literature in poetry that was taught in the schools did not help them in their daily life. However, daughters of kings and aristocrats knew the art of reading and writing. Cf. Ziegenbalg, 1926, 228: In the South Indian Society, Ziegenbalg mentioned another reason why the Tamils did not send their children to schools to learn to read and write. Reading, writing and singing were the occupation of the Devadasis, who used to dance in temples. Generally, the Devadasis were looked down upon because they were perceived to involve in temple prostitution.] and a coeducational school for Portuguese speaking children were established in Tranquebar. Ziegenbalg was responsible for the Tamil schools and Plutschau for the Portuguese school. Non-Christians in Tranquebar, who had been observing the functioning of the mission school, also admitted their children to the mission hostels. Ziegenbalg noted that education should be made available to all children; and non-Christian children in Christian schools would imbibe Christian values, and then would eventually help their parents to give up prejudices against Christians. School children would build admirable bridges between the missionaries and the Tamil people.

On June 20, 1712, Ziegenbalg wrote to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in London that the mission schools were the "fruitful seed plots of the Church" that would prepare scholars to serve the mission "as writers [i.e., clerks and accountants], schoolmasters and catechists" (SPCK, ME Cr 1, page 114). In a letter to George Lewis, a chaplain of the English East India Company in Madras in 1713, Ziegenbalg and Grundler mentioned that the children growing in the "Knowledge and Fear of God, may, by the divine Blessing become a means of planting a Church of Christ, deeply rooted in the Word of Truth" and contribute to "the future happy Enlightenment of Christ's Church in the East" (Ziegenbalg, A Letter to the Reverend Mr. George Lewis, 1715, 2 and 23). Hence, the schools were meant to be part of a "missional church." Ziegenbalg and his colleagues maintained a positive view on the nature and capabilities of the school children. On December 7, 1709, Grundler reported that the Indian school children were more industrious, hard working, obedient and talented in learning than the European school children,37 [HR, I, 4. Con., 179; In the Mission Library of the Francke Foundation a copy of the Halle Reports is available that belonged to Benjamin Schultze and bears the call no. "A:l, Teil 1." In the margin Schultze corrected Grundler's observation and wrote that mischievousness, wickedness, obstinacy and carelessness were found among those children in the Portuguese school in Tranquebar, who were used to wearing European clothes.] mainly because the school education was built on the interests, experiences and life situation of the Tamil children. Like the ancient Indian Gurukula-system of education, the teachers and their students lived together and imparted what they lived by. This made their learning experience easier. Moreover, they grew emotionally and intellectually stable so that they could achieve all-round development. The medium of instruction in the schools was Tamil. On August 28, 1715 Grundler, after eight years of work among the Tamil people, affirmed that "everyone learns the principles of X'tian Religion in his mother tongue" (SPCK, ME Cr 2,page 3). On October 1, 1709, Ziegenbalg drew up a school schedule for the children in Tranquebar (Kl.Kgl.Saml.852, 2 Fol). He insisted that between one and two o'clock in the afternoon the school children should learn things "according to the Tamil way of learning" and practice writing on palm leaves. [!!!]The students were learning not only the contents of the Bible, Luther's Catechism, church hymns/ music, art of writing letters, mathematics, botany, medicine and navigation,38 [HR, I, 6. Con., 239 f. (dated December 28, 1707) and for inclusion of the subject navigation see HR, II, 13. Con., 19-22 (dated 1719).] but also Tamil works on religion and poetry (HR, I, 5. Con., 240). The whole educational system was organized in such a way that the children were led from their natural knowledge of God derived from the light of nature to the knowledge of God, which is revealed in the Christian Bible. The members of the church and school were learning the meaning of regaining the image of God through social interaction and collaboration that were based on Lutheran Orthodoxy and the principles of Halle Pietism.

2.2.4 By developing a particular theology of mission

Ziegenbalg did not articulate his theology of mission. The following is an attempt to construct some of his basic theological convictions that underlay his missionary activity. Ziegenbalg's self-identity was not as much a "Royal Danish missionary" [???] (HR, I, 2. Con., 54, Ziegenbalg's letter of January 16, 1710), as the "servant of the Word of God among the South Indians [lit. heathen]" (HR, I, 3. Con., 146, Ziegenbalg's letter of August 27, 1709, HR, I, 4. Con., 168, Ziegenbalg's letter dated August 30, 1709, and so on). This dual identity helped him to define his mission better: Though the Danish King had sent Ziegenbalg, his ultimate authority depended not on the political power of the Danish government in Denmark, or in Tranquebar, or any human ability, but on the power of the Word of God [???] that he was proclaiming. He quickly realized that the political power of the Danish King was not binding on the Indian inhabitants of Tranquebar. However, he hoped that the Word of God would transform them, unite them in a community and engage them in corporate fellowship, prayer, worship, witness and service. The Word of God would enable them to live in a creative tension between the continuing and changing aspects of their culture. As mentioned above his holistic understanding of mission included a service to the soul and, simultaneously, practical service to the body. The Word of God translated into the mother tongue of the Tamil people strengthened their religious position in the society. In this way, the Word of God played a significant role in the life and work of Ziegenbalg.

In 1713 Ziegenbalg spelled out some of his theological convictions that influenced his missionary methods: his christocentric worldview helped him to translate the New Testament into Tamil, and preach christological sermons. He believed that faith in Christ would enliven every person (AFSt/M II C 5, 41).39 [Ziegenbalg believed that even his German writings, especially the unpublished manuscript treatises about The State of Christians Pleasing to God and The State of Christian Clergy. Pleasing to God (1709), witnessed to his christological concerns.] He was also convinced that Jesus Christ was the very basis of missionary work, and also the normative authority and the content of his missionary service. Jesus Christ was the revelation of God and the mediator between the loving, holy and righteous God and the fallen, fallible, sick and sinful humankind. God was the principal missionary, who chose to use human missionaries such as Ziegenbalg.

Ziegenbalg believed that God was the author, director and sustainer of the mission work in Tranquebar; as a result this mission work would eventually survive all the onslaughts both from without and within. Had it been a human enterprise, it would have disappeared long ago (AFSt/M II C 5, page 46). This assumption illustrates Ziegenbalg's profound conviction that he was primarily involved in God's mission, not in the mission of the Danish King or of the Danish-German Church in Europe. [???] According to Ziegenbalg the final authority for missionary work came from God. God helped the small Christian community in Tranquebar to withstand the severe social and psychological pressure produced by the conversion of individual South Indians. The caste system did not tolerate any religious conversion, particularly to Christianity, which was abhorred as the Paranki markkam ('the way/religion of the [beef-eating, alcohol-consuming, women-loving and avaricious] Europeans'), because Christianity was associated with the European way of life and conversion was interpreted as a social dislocation. As a result converts were not allowed to inherit family property; they were forsaken and could not find either job or marriage partners (AFSt/M II C 5, page 52). But God who sustained the converts in their hostile context. God enabled them to find an alternate functional community of likeminded people in the church, and to persevere in their newly found faith. They also shared the message of Jesus Christ with others in their society.

Ziegenbalg claimed that he was a messenger of peace and thus preached peace. But the colonial authorities in Tranquebar understood his mission as the "unrest and rebellion" (AFSt/M II C 5, page 48). It is not a paradox that preaching of peace caused rebellion because Ziegenbalg's mission addressed not only the superficial symptoms of an unjust society, but it examined the roots of social injustice, and suggested not only preventive, but also curative measures. In this context he wrote the following:

"In our writings and sermons we emphasize the need for sincere repentance and transformation of heart and mind, and explain to them [i.e., Christian converts] that faith in Christ should be active and be proven through good works. We teach them that superficial acceptance of Christianity, baptism, practicing [shallow) faith and mere participation in the Lord's Supper are useless. By contrast, a living knowledge of Jesus Christ, faith that transforms heart, mind and emotions, and holy lifestyle that corresponds to the teachings of the Word of God are vital [and useful]."

(AFSt/M II C 5, page 52).


Ziegenbalg explained the goal of his work not in terms of establishing a European Christendom in Tranquebar or transplanting a European church, but in terms of preparing the way for the coming of Jesus Christ to the South Indians, and of the South Indians to Jesus Christ. [???] Ziegenbalg was aware that he would not experience the final goal in his lifetime, but his "faith-eyes" anticipated the future event (AFSt/M II C 5, page, 60). He concluded the Genealogy with this remarkable statement: Jesus Christ has his kingdom among all the peoples and rules over them (L 262 v). Accordingly, Ziegenbalg believed that Jesus who had announced the coming of his kingdom40 [Cf. Mark 1:15: Jesus preached: The ''Kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news." (NRSV)] was active among the South Indians.

Ziegenbalg's writings do not explicitly mention the role of the Holy Spirit in building and sustaining a local Christian congregation. But he never doubted that the mission was the activity of the Triune God, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. This profound theological conviction sustained his missionary work among the South Indians. It helped him to look for evidence of South Indians created in God's image and of God's activity among them. One of the lasting results of this quest is the Genealogy of the South Indian Deities.
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