'Missionaries laid foundation for formal schooling in coastal area'

VC opens silver jubilee celebrations of Chair in Christianity in MU

Christian missionaries laid foundation for formal schooling in Coastal Karnataka, said Mangalore University Vice Chancellor Professor Dr T C Shivshankaramurthy.

Inaugurating the silver jubilee celebrations of the establishment of the Mangalore Diocesan Chair in Christianity in Mangalore University at Milagres Hall on Wednesday, he said that Christian missionaries brought development by starting schools and health care centres.

The social inclusion we speak today was practiced by the missionaries in the 19th century. They brought the marginalised and oppressed people who were excluded by the society to mainstream through education, he pointed out.

Speaking on the current education scenario, Murthy regretted that education is becoming an industry. "Many people claim that they are educationists. There is a need to differentiate between real educationists and education business men," he said.

Mangalore Bishop Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D'Souza said that the chair has always aimed to establish fellowship, justice, harmony and peace through an in-depth study of the sacred scriptures.

Christian missionaries have always aimed to bring humanity and brotherhood in the society. Education has never been denied to a student as he is poor. More than Rs 3 crores has been given as concession fee and hostel facilities have been provided too, he added.

A workshop on theme 'Contributions of Coastal Karnataka Christians of the society' was held after the inaugural. Papers on 'Konkani Christians of Coastal Karnataka during the colonial period: A historical perspective', 'Contribution of Basel Mission and CSI to Karnataka,' 'Christians as pioneers in education and health care in coastal Karnataka,' 'Freedom struggle and nation building: Political figures among Christians,' 'Contributions of Christian community for the Growth of art, Architecture and Literature' were taken up by eminent speakers.

A cultural fiesta was also organised. St Joseph's Seminary (Jeppu) performed 'Nava-Bharatha Nirmandatta,' St Agnes Special School performed 'Called to be one,' Fr Muller Medical College performed 'Samarasa Sandesha'.

Silver dreams

The chair has chalked down its future plans. The proposals include, updating the library
for the Inter- Religious Studies and Comparative Study of World Religions; Promoting Research on Inter-Religious Relations and furthering Inter-Religious Dialogue; Recording the history of the chair in Christianity; Networking of the chairs in Christianity in different universities in the country; Establishing Research Relations with Institutes of Christian Religious Studies within the country; Promoting research in ecumenical theology; Enhancement of the endowment fund and starting a corpus fund, scholarships for higher education in Christian studies; Exploring the possibilities of a department for Christian studies with a view to start graduate, post-graduate and doctoral programmes; Establishment of an office in the University campus.

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