Brief History of Department:
The Department of Post Graduate Studies and Research in Christianity was instituted in the University of Mysore in the year 1980 at the Post Graduate level to promote higher studies and research in Christian ideology in the pluralistic, multi-religious and secular context of Indian reality. The principle thrust of this Department is to promote national progress and integration, social and religious harmony and enrichment of the individuals by the understanding of world religions and cultures through research into the Christian values.
The ancient and prestigious University of Mysore took a unique decision to institute the Chair in Christianity and subsequently a full-fledged independent Post Graduate Department of Studies in Christianity. The Senate, at its meeting on 23rd September 1978, accepted the proposal of the then Bishop of Mysore, Bishop Mathias Fernandez of happy memory, to institute a Chair in Christianity in the University of Mysore and approved the statutes framed for this purpose. These received the assent of the Chancellor on 4th January 1979. The overall aim of the Chair is to promote research, teaching, learning and publication of Christianity as a discipline.
With the good work done under the auspices of the Chair in Christianity since its official inauguration in the Crawford Hall, on 2nd July 1979 it has been possible to pave the way for the establishment of an independent, post-graduate Department of Christianity in the University of Mysore. The Senate of the University took a formal decision on 4th November 1980, to establish this new Department and it received the formal assent of the Chancellor on 23rd December 1981. From then on the Department has been organizing a full-fledged M.A., M. Phil and Ph.D. courses in Christianity with a scientific and comparative religious approach as its major thrust.
1.1 Uniqueness of the Department:
The Department of Post-graduate Studies and Research is the first of its kind in Asia and the country that has been organizing a full-fledged M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D courses in Christianity. The students are made to engage in a scientific and comparative study of religions with its scriptural approach in the social, economic and political perspectives of Indian reality. The Department promotes advanced studies and research in Christianity, Christian and Indian spirituality in depth in a secular, multi-religious and inter-disciplinary context. The students are enabled to positively challenge and actively contribute to the higher education, animation and motivation in liberation perspective for social transformation and to promote national integration and social harmony in dialogue with the other cultures, ideologies and religions. The teaching pedagogy adopted to achieve this goal is through training, class room lectures, tutorials, practicals, seminars, group discussions, PPT, debate, visits to different religious places of worship, satsanghs, inter-religious meetings and inter-faith dialogue.
1.2 Vision of the Department:
- Allowing students of varying needs of different religious backgrounds and nationalities to experience the benefits of a broader curriculum, promoting from alienation to collaboration in mutual empowerment and closer involvement and linkages with the lecturers and library. Visits to different religious places of worship and of inter-disciplinary studies, creating a common Inclusive language and vocabulary that is humane, overcoming inhibitions to ‘bless’ and to be a ‘blessing’ we innovate and develop a networking towards national integration, peace education, education for moral rearmament and empowerment.
- To make the department vibrant research centre and facilitates and guide students towards research. Efforts taken to contact a number of research institutes of philosophy and theology in India and abroad to collaborate with the department to encourage quality research, inter faith dialogue meetings with a global perspective.
- To act as an agent of harmony and peace on the campus and for a better rapport among the teaching fraternity and inter-disciplinary interests and pursuits among students, organize workshops, seminars, symposiums, conferences and series of lectures on local, national and international level on comparative Religious perspectives, Religion and Spirituality every year.
- To Arrange special memorial lectures to facilitate over-all learning in withdrawal from didactic pedagogies and experimenting with comprehensive and holistic techniques, integrating values, media, societal expectations, influence of rich cultural heritages and comparative religious perspective for a value –based new social order.
- To facilitate annual informal get together of all the past and present students and teachers of the department along the teachers and students of other departments of Open Electives for an evaluation of the performance of the Department and to explore new avenues of outreach and services.
- To organize a Sarva Dharma Sammelana with the collaboration of NGO’s and the Anjali Ashram every year where Indian cum Christian religious traditions are celebrated to experience the divine in the cave of the heart.
- To invite the students of the campus for an intrinsic connectedness with the value of peace, compassion and co-existence for a sustainable development, strengthening our commonalities, preserving and reconciling our particularities within one broader community and continue to celebrate the World Peace Day meaningfully every year.
- There is a special joy which leads towards a deeper fellowship, when followers of different religious traditions come together for a celebration. So the Department continues to organize annual customary meaningful Christmas celebration during Christmas season, welcoming students and teachers belonging to different religious background of all departments of the campus. For a promotion of Inter-Religious Dialogue with various cultures and ideologies, organize celebration of common festivals in the department along with compassionate activities involving the people of all faiths.