British Influence and Anglicanization of the Malankara Community (1816-1836)

Succession of Leadership Post-Mar Dionysius I

Following the demise of Mar Dionysius I on April 8, 1808, the Malankara Church witnessed a succession of leaders: Mar Thomas VII (1808-1809), Mar Thomas VIII (1810-1815), Mar Thomas IX (1815), Mar Dionysius II (1816), Mar Dionysius III (1817-1825), and Mar Dionysius IV (1825-1846). This period was marked by rapid changes in leadership within the church.

British Influence in Kerala

The early 19th century saw the establishment of British supremacy in Kerala's kingdoms. The English had taken Cochin from the Dutch as early as 1795, and by 1800, British Residents were stationed in the courts of Travancore and Cochin. This political shift led to the Malankara Church's increased interaction with the Church of England, eventually leading to its Anglicanization.

Entry of the Church Missionary Society (CMS)

The Church Missionary Society (CMS), an Anglican missionary organization, began working among the Christian faithful of the Malankara Church in 1816. The CMS missionaries aimed to reform the church in line with their faith and doctrines.

Collaboration with the Church of England

Under Mar Dionysius III (1817-1825), official decisions were made to promote collaboration between the Church of England and the Malankara community. Anglican missionaries were allowed to teach and preach in Malankara churches and the seminary established with their financial support at Kottayam in 1815.

Missionary Views and Reforms

The Anglican missionaries perceived the Malankara community as a primitive church that had been corrupted by Roman Catholic influences. They sought to remove rituals and doctrines not aligning with their interpretation of the Scripture. Practices like the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God, prayers for the dead, and the presence of images in churches were targeted for reform. The missionaries endeavored to eliminate such “erroneous doctrines” from liturgical, canonical, and theological texts and aimed to impart Protestant teachings to seminarians and priests.

history/malankara_syrian_orthodox_church_from_its_inception_until_the_time_of_reunion/british_influence_and_anglicanization_of_the_malankara_community_1816-1836.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/22 06:10 by smcc