Discussion:
The Inquisition trinity
(too old to reply)
Frederick "FN" Noronha
2009-06-18 01:50:46 UTC
Permalink
I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a
small set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding
of the Goa Inquisition. Recently, coming across more critical
views[1] that challenges our traditional understanding of the
Inquisition only made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas, perhaps because
of the fact that he wrote around the 1960s, and
often in Marathi. I wish I had been more fluent in that
language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted by a
private firm in Goa this year. In between, the
Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based Voice of India press published
a second impression in 1991. To understand the VoI's
ideology, google for a list of books published by it, or
check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations
above, but that's hint enough about the interest-groups
who give current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The
Angle being referred to is Prabhakar Angle, who
represented one particular perspective on Goa, like many
of us have our own perspectives or biases.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who lived through the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice."

Interestingly, Buchanan was "not less indignant at the
Inquisition of Goa, than I had been with the temple of
Juggernaut" (sic)

In author Brian Kemble Pennington's view:

The corpus of Buchanan's writing reveals that
his chief object was not the extermination of
Hinduism, but the conquest of the idolatrous
religious culture that infected both Hinduism
and Christianity in India. His crusade for a
rational, evangelical, and imperial Anglical
establishment there was part of his iconoclastic
and anti-clerical campaign against the idols and
priests that held India in their grip....

In Buchanan's dispensational grasp of Indian
idolatry, Hindus, Syrian Christians, and Roman
Catholics laboured under an enslavement to
idols and the priestcraft that administered,
mediated, and embodied their power. Anglican
external forms, on the other hand, he saw as
expression of higher rational and spiritual
perceptions and emotions.

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Even more interesting is Charles Dellon, the Frenchman who
authored Relation de l'Inquisition de Goa, or Relation of
the Inquisition in Goa, in 1687.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the narrative.
The account of his travels in India, the
description of the influential tribunal set up for
the protection of Catholicism in such remote lands,
and the documentation of its inquisitorial
procedures and of the tragic experiences of two
gentlemen, Joseph Pereira De Meneses and Luis
Pessoa and his family, garnered wide interest.

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have ample
documentation [8] about the Black Legend created in centuries
past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

FN

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7] http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend
--
FN * http://fredericknoronha.wordpress.com http://twitter.com/fn
M +91-9822122436 P +91-832-2409490
http://fredericknoronha.multiply.com/ http://goa1556.goa-india.org
"Men are irrelevant." - Fay Weldon
Frederick "FN" Noronha
2009-06-18 01:50:46 UTC
Permalink
I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a
small set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding
of the Goa Inquisition. Recently, coming across more critical
views[1] that challenges our traditional understanding of the
Inquisition only made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas, perhaps because
of the fact that he wrote around the 1960s, and
often in Marathi. I wish I had been more fluent in that
language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted by a
private firm in Goa this year. In between, the
Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based Voice of India press published
a second impression in 1991. To understand the VoI's
ideology, google for a list of books published by it, or
check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations
above, but that's hint enough about the interest-groups
who give current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The
Angle being referred to is Prabhakar Angle, who
represented one particular perspective on Goa, like many
of us have our own perspectives or biases.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who lived through the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice."

Interestingly, Buchanan was "not less indignant at the
Inquisition of Goa, than I had been with the temple of
Juggernaut" (sic)

In author Brian Kemble Pennington's view:

The corpus of Buchanan's writing reveals that
his chief object was not the extermination of
Hinduism, but the conquest of the idolatrous
religious culture that infected both Hinduism
and Christianity in India. His crusade for a
rational, evangelical, and imperial Anglical
establishment there was part of his iconoclastic
and anti-clerical campaign against the idols and
priests that held India in their grip....

In Buchanan's dispensational grasp of Indian
idolatry, Hindus, Syrian Christians, and Roman
Catholics laboured under an enslavement to
idols and the priestcraft that administered,
mediated, and embodied their power. Anglican
external forms, on the other hand, he saw as
expression of higher rational and spiritual
perceptions and emotions.

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Even more interesting is Charles Dellon, the Frenchman who
authored Relation de l'Inquisition de Goa, or Relation of
the Inquisition in Goa, in 1687.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the narrative.
The account of his travels in India, the
description of the influential tribunal set up for
the protection of Catholicism in such remote lands,
and the documentation of its inquisitorial
procedures and of the tragic experiences of two
gentlemen, Joseph Pereira De Meneses and Luis
Pessoa and his family, garnered wide interest.

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have ample
documentation [8] about the Black Legend created in centuries
past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

FN

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7] http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend
--
FN * http://fredericknoronha.wordpress.com http://twitter.com/fn
M +91-9822122436 P +91-832-2409490
http://fredericknoronha.multiply.com/ http://goa1556.goa-india.org
"Men are irrelevant." - Fay Weldon
Frederick "FN" Noronha
2009-06-18 01:50:46 UTC
Permalink
I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a
small set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding
of the Goa Inquisition. Recently, coming across more critical
views[1] that challenges our traditional understanding of the
Inquisition only made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas, perhaps because
of the fact that he wrote around the 1960s, and
often in Marathi. I wish I had been more fluent in that
language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted by a
private firm in Goa this year. In between, the
Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based Voice of India press published
a second impression in 1991. To understand the VoI's
ideology, google for a list of books published by it, or
check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations
above, but that's hint enough about the interest-groups
who give current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The
Angle being referred to is Prabhakar Angle, who
represented one particular perspective on Goa, like many
of us have our own perspectives or biases.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who lived through the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice."

Interestingly, Buchanan was "not less indignant at the
Inquisition of Goa, than I had been with the temple of
Juggernaut" (sic)

In author Brian Kemble Pennington's view:

The corpus of Buchanan's writing reveals that
his chief object was not the extermination of
Hinduism, but the conquest of the idolatrous
religious culture that infected both Hinduism
and Christianity in India. His crusade for a
rational, evangelical, and imperial Anglical
establishment there was part of his iconoclastic
and anti-clerical campaign against the idols and
priests that held India in their grip....

In Buchanan's dispensational grasp of Indian
idolatry, Hindus, Syrian Christians, and Roman
Catholics laboured under an enslavement to
idols and the priestcraft that administered,
mediated, and embodied their power. Anglican
external forms, on the other hand, he saw as
expression of higher rational and spiritual
perceptions and emotions.

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Even more interesting is Charles Dellon, the Frenchman who
authored Relation de l'Inquisition de Goa, or Relation of
the Inquisition in Goa, in 1687.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the narrative.
The account of his travels in India, the
description of the influential tribunal set up for
the protection of Catholicism in such remote lands,
and the documentation of its inquisitorial
procedures and of the tragic experiences of two
gentlemen, Joseph Pereira De Meneses and Luis
Pessoa and his family, garnered wide interest.

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have ample
documentation [8] about the Black Legend created in centuries
past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

FN

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7] http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend
--
FN * http://fredericknoronha.wordpress.com http://twitter.com/fn
M +91-9822122436 P +91-832-2409490
http://fredericknoronha.multiply.com/ http://goa1556.goa-india.org
"Men are irrelevant." - Fay Weldon
Frederick "FN" Noronha
2009-06-18 01:50:46 UTC
Permalink
I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a
small set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding
of the Goa Inquisition. Recently, coming across more critical
views[1] that challenges our traditional understanding of the
Inquisition only made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas, perhaps because
of the fact that he wrote around the 1960s, and
often in Marathi. I wish I had been more fluent in that
language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted by a
private firm in Goa this year. In between, the
Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based Voice of India press published
a second impression in 1991. To understand the VoI's
ideology, google for a list of books published by it, or
check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations
above, but that's hint enough about the interest-groups
who give current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The
Angle being referred to is Prabhakar Angle, who
represented one particular perspective on Goa, like many
of us have our own perspectives or biases.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who lived through the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice."

Interestingly, Buchanan was "not less indignant at the
Inquisition of Goa, than I had been with the temple of
Juggernaut" (sic)

In author Brian Kemble Pennington's view:

The corpus of Buchanan's writing reveals that
his chief object was not the extermination of
Hinduism, but the conquest of the idolatrous
religious culture that infected both Hinduism
and Christianity in India. His crusade for a
rational, evangelical, and imperial Anglical
establishment there was part of his iconoclastic
and anti-clerical campaign against the idols and
priests that held India in their grip....

In Buchanan's dispensational grasp of Indian
idolatry, Hindus, Syrian Christians, and Roman
Catholics laboured under an enslavement to
idols and the priestcraft that administered,
mediated, and embodied their power. Anglican
external forms, on the other hand, he saw as
expression of higher rational and spiritual
perceptions and emotions.

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Even more interesting is Charles Dellon, the Frenchman who
authored Relation de l'Inquisition de Goa, or Relation of
the Inquisition in Goa, in 1687.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the narrative.
The account of his travels in India, the
description of the influential tribunal set up for
the protection of Catholicism in such remote lands,
and the documentation of its inquisitorial
procedures and of the tragic experiences of two
gentlemen, Joseph Pereira De Meneses and Luis
Pessoa and his family, garnered wide interest.

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have ample
documentation [8] about the Black Legend created in centuries
past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

FN

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7] http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend
--
FN * http://fredericknoronha.wordpress.com http://twitter.com/fn
M +91-9822122436 P +91-832-2409490
http://fredericknoronha.multiply.com/ http://goa1556.goa-india.org
"Men are irrelevant." - Fay Weldon
Frederick "FN" Noronha
2009-06-18 01:50:46 UTC
Permalink
I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a
small set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding
of the Goa Inquisition. Recently, coming across more critical
views[1] that challenges our traditional understanding of the
Inquisition only made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas, perhaps because
of the fact that he wrote around the 1960s, and
often in Marathi. I wish I had been more fluent in that
language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted by a
private firm in Goa this year. In between, the
Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based Voice of India press published
a second impression in 1991. To understand the VoI's
ideology, google for a list of books published by it, or
check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations
above, but that's hint enough about the interest-groups
who give current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The
Angle being referred to is Prabhakar Angle, who
represented one particular perspective on Goa, like many
of us have our own perspectives or biases.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who lived through the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice."

Interestingly, Buchanan was "not less indignant at the
Inquisition of Goa, than I had been with the temple of
Juggernaut" (sic)

In author Brian Kemble Pennington's view:

The corpus of Buchanan's writing reveals that
his chief object was not the extermination of
Hinduism, but the conquest of the idolatrous
religious culture that infected both Hinduism
and Christianity in India. His crusade for a
rational, evangelical, and imperial Anglical
establishment there was part of his iconoclastic
and anti-clerical campaign against the idols and
priests that held India in their grip....

In Buchanan's dispensational grasp of Indian
idolatry, Hindus, Syrian Christians, and Roman
Catholics laboured under an enslavement to
idols and the priestcraft that administered,
mediated, and embodied their power. Anglican
external forms, on the other hand, he saw as
expression of higher rational and spiritual
perceptions and emotions.

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Even more interesting is Charles Dellon, the Frenchman who
authored Relation de l'Inquisition de Goa, or Relation of
the Inquisition in Goa, in 1687.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the narrative.
The account of his travels in India, the
description of the influential tribunal set up for
the protection of Catholicism in such remote lands,
and the documentation of its inquisitorial
procedures and of the tragic experiences of two
gentlemen, Joseph Pereira De Meneses and Luis
Pessoa and his family, garnered wide interest.

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have ample
documentation [8] about the Black Legend created in centuries
past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

FN

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7] http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend
--
FN * http://fredericknoronha.wordpress.com http://twitter.com/fn
M +91-9822122436 P +91-832-2409490
http://fredericknoronha.multiply.com/ http://goa1556.goa-india.org
"Men are irrelevant." - Fay Weldon
Frederick "FN" Noronha
2009-06-18 01:50:46 UTC
Permalink
I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a
small set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding
of the Goa Inquisition. Recently, coming across more critical
views[1] that challenges our traditional understanding of the
Inquisition only made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas, perhaps because
of the fact that he wrote around the 1960s, and
often in Marathi. I wish I had been more fluent in that
language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted by a
private firm in Goa this year. In between, the
Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based Voice of India press published
a second impression in 1991. To understand the VoI's
ideology, google for a list of books published by it, or
check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations
above, but that's hint enough about the interest-groups
who give current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The
Angle being referred to is Prabhakar Angle, who
represented one particular perspective on Goa, like many
of us have our own perspectives or biases.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who lived through the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice."

Interestingly, Buchanan was "not less indignant at the
Inquisition of Goa, than I had been with the temple of
Juggernaut" (sic)

In author Brian Kemble Pennington's view:

The corpus of Buchanan's writing reveals that
his chief object was not the extermination of
Hinduism, but the conquest of the idolatrous
religious culture that infected both Hinduism
and Christianity in India. His crusade for a
rational, evangelical, and imperial Anglical
establishment there was part of his iconoclastic
and anti-clerical campaign against the idols and
priests that held India in their grip....

In Buchanan's dispensational grasp of Indian
idolatry, Hindus, Syrian Christians, and Roman
Catholics laboured under an enslavement to
idols and the priestcraft that administered,
mediated, and embodied their power. Anglican
external forms, on the other hand, he saw as
expression of higher rational and spiritual
perceptions and emotions.

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Even more interesting is Charles Dellon, the Frenchman who
authored Relation de l'Inquisition de Goa, or Relation of
the Inquisition in Goa, in 1687.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the narrative.
The account of his travels in India, the
description of the influential tribunal set up for
the protection of Catholicism in such remote lands,
and the documentation of its inquisitorial
procedures and of the tragic experiences of two
gentlemen, Joseph Pereira De Meneses and Luis
Pessoa and his family, garnered wide interest.

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have ample
documentation [8] about the Black Legend created in centuries
past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

FN

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7] http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend
--
FN * http://fredericknoronha.wordpress.com http://twitter.com/fn
M +91-9822122436 P +91-832-2409490
http://fredericknoronha.multiply.com/ http://goa1556.goa-india.org
"Men are irrelevant." - Fay Weldon
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