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Classical Dialogues

The Journey of Christianity to India in Late Antiquity

The Journey of Christianity to India in Late Antiquity
Nathanael Andrade
Binghamton University

As part of its Classical Dialogues series, the Classical Studies Graduate Program at Columbia University is pleased to welcome Nathanael Andrade, Associate Professor of History at SUNY Binghamton University. On March 1, 11 am-1 pm, Professor Andrade will discuss his book, The Journey of Christianity to India in Late Antiquity (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Commentators Tal Ish Shalom (Columbia) and Deborah Sokolowski (Columbia); wrap-up remarks by Jeremy Simmons (Columbia). Location: Schermerhorn Hall 930, Columbia University. Please see below for an abstract from Nathanael Andrade.

How did Christianity make its remarkable voyage from the Roman Mediterranean to the Indian subcontinent? By examining the social networks that connected the ancient and late antique Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, central Asia, and Iran, this book contemplates the social relations that made such movement possible. It also analyzes how the narrative tradition regarding the apostle Judas Thomas, which originated in Upper Mesopotamia and accredited him with evangelizing India, traveled among the social networks of an interconnected late antique world. In this way, the book probes how the Thomas narrative shaped Mediterranean Christian beliefs regarding co-religionists in central Asia and India, impacted local Christian cultures, took shape in a variety of languages, and experienced transformation as it traveled from the Mediterranean to India, and back again.

In its Classical Dialogues series, the interdepartmental Classical Studies Graduate Program CLST at Columbia University invites authors of recent work in ancient studies that is exemplary for the kind of study that CLST aims to foster. All faculty and students at  Columbia and beyond are cordially invited. CLST students are required to read carefully at least one chapter or article in advance and prepare questions and comments for discussion.