Responsable : Dominic Goodall

École française d'Extrême-Orient
16-19 rue Dumas
605 001 Pondichéry, Inde

Tél : +91 413 233 45 39
Fax : +91 413 233 08 86

Lecture by Margherita Trento: Writing Christianity in eighteenth-century Tamiḻakam
Lecture by Margherita Trento (Śivadharma Project, ERC Grant No. 803624 / University of Naples “L’Orientale")

This presentation will be a foray into the social history of Catholic literature in Tamil. It will focus on the interactions between Jesuit missionaries and their lay helpers working in the Madurai mission during the first four decades of the eighteenth century, and of the articulation of these interactions through and within the realm of literature. The presentation will show how in this short yet crucial span of time Catholic literature entered for the first time the Tamil literary sphere, and lay helpers working as catechists were its main intended readers. In parallel to this process, the role of the catechists was institutionalized as that of spiritual and cultural elites who shared most of the tasks of the missionaries, from preaching to exorcism, and additionally mediated between the mission and Catholic communities on the ground.

The lecture will take place at 4.00 pm in the Library Hall of the EFEO, 19, Dumas Street, Pondicherry