Christian mission in India: contributions of some missions to social change

Date created: 
History of Christian Mission in India
Religious NGOs
Christian Missions in India

The thesis follows the development of selected Christian missions in India as a form of NGO activity. The thesis examines the development of this form of NGO activity seeking to find factors that have made for success in areas of Christian expansion but also the resultant social and economic development spheres. It then discusses the value of these contributions to the wider area of NGO development activity. Christian NGO activity is based on an altruistic motivation. In itself this motivation has not been sufficient to yield success. Success has come from ministering to people who are in crisis exhibiting distinct areas of need. To meet this need a holistic model as opposed to a narrow evangelistic model must be adopted even if it requires some revision to the original theological or ideological outlook. A sound development model suited to the needs of these people has to be adopted. This is seen to be one with roots in the thinking of the Reformation period by Luther and Calvin. Max Weber the German sociologist also noted this linkage giving it the title The Protestant Work Ethic seeing it as one of the foundations of the modern world and the economic progress that has been enjoined. This Reformation based model was first proved in the early mission activity amongst Dalit people in Tamil Nadu. The modern equivalent has been developed by the Aroles in Maharastra and widely adopted by the present NGO network. Further there is the need to develop sound organizational and institutional methods to ensure continuity. These same basic principles are shown to be effective when secularized and utilized by other religious and non religious NGOs with similar desirable effects.

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Senior supervisor: 
School for International Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Dissertation (Ph.D.)