Event date:

Guest talk by Dr E. Dawson Varughese (MCH, MAHE)

Faculty of English is thrilled to extend a warm invitation to all of you for an open talk by Dr Emma Dawson Varughese from Manipal Centre for Humanities, MAHE, India on 'Christ the guru’: artistic representations of Jesus Christ in South India and their mediated notions of guru-ness, which will be hosted by the AMU Faculty of English on November, 21st.

The event will be held at Aula of Collegium Heliodori Święcicki.

mma, I said to her, Gabriel was his name, don’t you remember? She said I remember only what he said, that my son would die on the cross, the terrible words that made me forget every other thing.  Then she told me to live the days of my life fully. To learn the ways of men. To seek in my spirit first, then in my mind and at last in my body. To give myself to the answer.[Jeet Thayil, from The Names of the Women 2021, 2]

This talk examines South Indian artistic representations of ‘Christ’ and ‘Jesus’ as ‘guru’ by looking at a selection of artistic works from South India which date from the late 1970s through to the early post-millennial years. I argue that these imaginative renditions of Jesus Christ as guru examine both ideas of ‘guru-ness’ and ideas of Indianness, and importantly, not without some difficulties. My analysis of these artworks explores how the idea of an ‘Indian guru’ is made manifest and how the style, symbolic representations, artistic medium and colour palettes mediate between different religious traditions (namely, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist) through the trope of the guru and thus how they communicate encounters of inculturation (Amaladoss, 2021). I conclude by considering how the circulation of these images and their encoded ideas of Indianness and guru-ness continue to shape post-millennial religious identities and expressions of being ‘Indian’ and ‘Christian’.

The talk has been funded by an ID-UB grant.