Catholic Cultures, Indian Cultures

A workshop on rites, religiosity, and cultural diversity in Indian Catholicism
- (5am)


India is a multicultural society and home to three rites (Roman, Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara) within the Catholic Church.  This unique combination has created a particularly rich and diverse context for Catholic religious life. This workshop will examine how Catholic life is practiced in India’s different cultural and Catholic contexts. Among the questions to be considered are: 

  • What makes each rite liturgically unique? 
  • What practices differ in Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara and Latin communities?  Are there special devotions, feasts or fasts? Distinctive ways of mourning the dead, celebrating marriage or fulfilling obligations to the poor?
  • Within each rite, are there variations in practice according to gender, caste, or regional location?
  • In what ways do the rites creatively overlap and complement one another?
  • How do the rites relate to the experience and cultures of non-Christian Indians?

The intent of the workshop is to move away from the often contentious jurisdictional issues surrounding the rites and instead focus on the perspectives gained from considering the lived experience of ordinary Catholics. There will be plenary and panel sessions, along with break out groups for more informal discussion.  Presentations will be recorded and posted on the Catholics and Cultures website.  Participants will also be invited to revise their presentation for inclusion in the Journal of Global Catholicism or Asian Horizons.

Sponsored by Dharmaram Vidhya Ksetram and the College of the Holy Cross.