പൈതൃകവും വികസനവും സഭയുടെ പ്രേഷിതവൃത്തിയില്‍
Dr. Alexander, P.J. (Ed.), 2011.  The Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar  Rs. 350.

Untitled-1(1) ‘Festschrift’ is a German word which means “celebration writing” or “celebr ation publication”. It is a collection of essays or learned papers contributed by a number of people in recognition of the meritorio us service of a person on the occasion of attaining a certain age or the pinnacle of his career.

The work under review, ‘ Heritage and Development in the Mission of the Church’ is a Festschrift  published in honour of His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan on the completion  of his eightieth   birthday. His Grace is the twentyfirst Mar Thoma Metropolitan of the Apostolic See of St. Thomas and the fifth Metropolitan from the renowned Palakunnathu family. Eminent   scholars, Bishops and Clergymen have contributed articles on the theme of the work mentioned above. The work is a collection of seventy papers out of which eleven are in Malayalam. The papers are classified into two divisions. There is a pictorial section portraying certain memorable events in the life of the Metropolitan  during the ten years from 2000.
The first part of the volume comprises of fifteen papers giving an account of the life of the Metropolitan. The contributors are his longtime associates or friends who worked with him closely. They recall their intimate association and fellowship with the Metropolitan and his influence on their lives.  They find in him several rare qualities and gifts that have shaped him to be a leader par excellence. The contributors admire the Metropolitan’s profound knowledge of the Scripture, Church history, national and world affairs which distinguish him to be an outstanding leader of the Church and the Christian world. His care for the poor and concern for the preservation of nature are also highlighted.  His dedicated service to various national and international   organizations are also acclaimed in detail. In fact all the articles in this section pay rich tributes to the Metropolitan who starting to serve the Lord as an ordinary parish priest rose to become a Metropolitan of repute and distinction.
The second part of the volume consists of a collection of fifty papers contributed by scholars drawn from several spheres of life. Many authors have made a successful attempt at understanding the theme of the Festschrift in the right perspective.  Few papers discuss the heritage, tradition, concern, mission, and vision of the Mar Thoma Church.  Some contributors made an indepth study of the identity and global witness of the Mar Thoma diaspora.  Several papers examine the relationship of the Mar Thoma Church with other Churches of the world.  Papers written by well known scholars and writers present the serious studies on the socio-economic and political scenario and inter-church relations.
An interesting interview with His Grace at the end of the volume reveals the Metropolitan’s faith, vision and  indepth knowledge of the Church history.
The subject matter presented is excellent and well expressed.  The clarity and beauty of language used in Malayalam articles can be well appreciated.  The Festschrift  is a well edited work which deserves serious reading with mental concentration. This volume is a new and welcome addition to a plethora of books on the Church history of Kerala.
Prof. Dr. M. O. Koshy
Former  Pro-Vice Chancellor
(Published in the Sabha Tharaka December 2011 issue)
Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church

Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church

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