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Regunta Yesurathnam

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The Reverend Doctor
R. Yesurathnam
BornRegunta Yesurathnam
(1941-10-16)16 October 1941[1]
Nirmal, Nirmal district (previously under Adilabad district), Telangana, India[1]
Died8 August 2011(2011-08-08) (aged 69)
Hyderabad, Telangana
Cause of deathPneumonia
NationalityIndia
EducationB. D. (Serampore),[2]
M. A. (Osmania),
M. Th. (Serampore),
D. Th. (Serampore)
Alma materUnited Theological College, Bangalore (Karnataka),
Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham (England)
OccupationPriesthood
Years active  1967–2011


Others articles of the Topic Methodism : General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Thomas Hickman (Louisiana politician), Pattie W. Van Hook

Others articles of the Topic Theology : B. J. Christie Kumar
Some use of "" in your query was not closed by a matching "".Some use of "" in your query was not closed by a matching "". Regunta Yesurathnam (16 October 1941 – 8 August 2011)[5] was a priest hailing from the Diocese of Medak of the Church of South India, headquartered in Medak, notable as a systematic theologian[6] who served as Faculty Member from 1974 through 2001 in Secunderabad, Telangana, India, at the Andhra Christian Theological College, affiliated to the Senate of Serampore College (University).

Yesurathnam has been acknowledged for his contribution to the disciplines of Dialogical Theology[7] and Comparative religion.[8]

As a pupil of another CSI systematic theologian, Joshua Russell Chandran, under whom he was groomed in the 1960s, Yesurathnam established himself as a scholar and during the subsequent decade, as evidenced by his interest in Dialogical Theology, Yesurathnam seemed to have been influenced by the religious scholars Stanley Jedidiah Samartha, of the Church of South India (CSI), Herbert Jai Singh, of the Methodist Church in India (MCI)[9] and David C. Scott, also of the MCI.[10] During the initial years of his doctoral research in the 1970s, it was Arvind P. Nirmal, CNI (the proponent of Dalit theology) who supervised and enabled Yesurathnam to push through his doctoral studies.

Contribution[edit | edit source]

Dialogical theology[edit | edit source]

Professor Jutta Sperber, of the University of Münster, Germany, in a work about Dialogical Theology with special reference to the activities of the World Council of Churches and its unit on Dialogue, has quoted the work of Yesurathnam on the Christian-Muslim dialogue. Similarly, Sonia Calza[7] while researching on interfaith dialogue with reference to Hinduism and Christianity, referred to Yesurathnam's work on Dialogical Theology while writing about the contribution of Henri Le Saux.[11]

Comparative religion[edit | edit source]

Yesurathnam, also wrote on the work on the concept of Avatara, which has been cited by other scholars. Bob Robinson[10] noted this work with special emphasis on the relationship to Christianity and Steven Tsoukalas quoted Yesurathnam's work on the forms of Avatara.[12]

Contextualization[edit | edit source]

Inter-disciplinary writings by Yesurathnam have struck new ground in inculturation as espoused by Swamy Amalorananda and the New Testament Scholar Suppogu Joseph, STBC (2007)[13] had made a sustained research exploring possibilities for the Gospel to adapt itself to the multi-religious ethos of India. Earlier proponents who experimented with Contextualization, emphasizing on the presentation of Christ adapting to the Indian culture, were Robert de Nobili, SJ, E. Stanley Jones, MCI, and B. V. Subbamma, AELC, who together were known for their contribution to the Christian Ashram Movement in India.

Yesurathnam's definition of Contextualization has been acknowledged by scholars as a resourceful addition. Charles E. Van Engen[6] and Akintunde E. Akinade[14] refer to the word contextualization as defined by Yesurathnam.

Renewal of the Church[edit | edit source]

Yesurathnam cautioned the Church against falling into traditionalism. During the Golden Jubilee of the founding of the Uniting church, the CSI held in Chennai in 1997,[15] Yesurathnam spoke on the ills befalling the Church in India,

(Adapted) The church hierarchy of Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons and Laity is turning into a Chaturvarna system, with the Laity and Women as the Shudras, the bottom-most caste.[16][not in citation given]

Echoing the apprehensions by Yesurathnam, Stanley Jedidiah Samartha who was also present at the Jubilee in Chennai, pointed out that one must first introspect before raising cudgels against the Indian caste system and believed that one failed to notice the gradual transformation of the episcopacy into such a system.[17] Yesurathnam, in an introduction to the book Jesus' Tears! by Elizabeth Thelma Johnson (2007),[18] has highlighted the work of a Laity and appreciated their contribution towards the Christian missions.

Studies[edit | edit source]

From his youth, Yesurathnam was inspired by the work of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian missions in Telangana. He entered the ministry of the Catholic Church through the Diocese of Medak, becoming a ministerial candidate during the bishopric of Frank Whittaker, the first Bishop-in-Medak. He studied at a seminary in Bangalore for spiritual formation and was ordained in 1967 by Bishop Eber Priestley, the then Bishop-in-Medak.[citation needed]

Graduate[edit | edit source]

After initial schooling at the mission schools founded by the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (WMMS) in Telangana, Yesurathnam decided to take up priesthood. Bishops Frank Whittaker and Eber Priestley, successively, became his Spiritual Confessors and led him to take up spiritual studies at the United Theological College, Bangalore during 1963-1967.[2] He was awarded a B. D. degree.[citation needed]

Postgraduate[edit | edit source]

In 1969, Yesurathnam was recalled from parish work and sent to the Protestant Regional Theologiate in Bangalore for further spiritual studies that lasted until 1972 and resulted in the award of a Master of Theology degree after research under Joshua Russell Chandran of the CSI.[2]

Doctoral[edit | edit source]

Henri Le Saux, OSB (1910-1973) (Swami Abhishiktananda); Yesurathnam researched during 1978-1982 on Benedictine monk's experiences of spirituality as found in Hinduism and Christianity

After a five-year teaching ministry that began in 1974[1] at the Andhra Christian Theological College, Secunderabad, Yesurathnam qualified to undertake doctoral level research in 1978[2] and was granted a five-year study leave.[19] Yesurathnam's Bishop during that period, B. G. Prasada Rao, made efforts to ensure that Yesurathnam was able to join his alma mater, the United Theological College, Bangalore, where he was able to take up research in the discipline of systematic theology under the guidance of Arvind P. Nirmal, CNI. Yesurathnam also came under the tutelage of Stanley Jedidiah Samartha, a leading authority on Dialogical Theology.[20] During the research period between 1978-1982,[2] Yesurathnam was also sent to the University of Birmingham, England, in 1979 for a two-year research exposure through the efforts of Gordon Shaw[1] who ensured his overseas travel and stay in England at Kingsmead College under the Selly Oak Colleges, where he was supervised by Walter Jacob Hollenweger, a leading authority on Pentecostalism.[21]

By 1981, Yesurathnam returned to the United Theological College and began shaping his doctoral dissertation under the guidance of David C. Scott and by 1982, he rejoined the Andhra Christian Theological College, which by then was being led by the New Testament scholar,[22] K. David, CBCNC[23] and took up his teaching role in systematic theology, but was able to submit his doctoral thesis to the university through his supervisor at the United Theological College and finally in 1987, much before nearing a decade of registering with the university, it awarded the degree of Doctor of Theology.[24]

Though Yesurathnam sought permission from the Senate of Serampore College to publish his doctoral work nearly two decades later, in 2006.[1] His thesis was already being referred by research scholars[25] on works relating to the contribution of Swami Abhishiktananda.

Ministry[edit | edit source]

Pastoral ministry[edit | edit source]

The CSI-Medak Cathedral,Medak where Yesurathnam was ordained in 1967 by Bishop Eber Priestley, Bishop - in - Medak.

Yesurathnam was ordained in 1967 by Priestley, then Bishop-in-Medak, and was assigned ministerial functions in the parishes falling under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Diocese of Medak and served in Sangareddy[3] and other towns shepherding congregations for nearly a decade[1] until he was recalled in 1974 by then Bishop, H. D. L. Abraham, and reassigned the role of a Spiritual Formator.[citation needed]

In 1992, when Victor Premasagar vacated the bishopric of Medak on attaining superannuation, the ensuing Sede vacante was contested among whom Yesurathnam stood in the fray for the vacant bishopric, which was overseen by Ryder Devapriam, then Moderator of the Church of South India Synod and a former colleague of Yesurathnam at the Protestant Regional Theologiate. However, the sudden death of Devapriam on 4 September 1992[26] while in Germany[27] turned the tides for those in fray, resulting in the appointment and subsequent consecration of B. P. Sugandhar.

Teaching[edit | edit source]

The Andhra Christian Theological College (ACTC) relocated from Rajahmundry to Secunderabad. Yesurathnam was invited to join the college in 1974,[1] during the Principalship of Victor Premasagar.[28] In 1993 he was appointed guest professor at the Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal/Bethel in Germany,[29] where he taught until 1994.[citation needed] He then returned to ACTC and was appointed principal under the institution's policy of rotating that office between the various constituent churches in four-year cycles.[citation needed]

Yesurathnam took a year's sabbatical leave in 1998 to the Overseas Ministries Study Center,[4] New Haven, Connecticut to continue his research pursuits[30] and rejoined the Theologiate in Secunderabad to teach for two more years until 2001.[citation needed]

Missionary service[edit | edit source]

When the Council for World Mission (CWM) sought missionaries from the CSI, Yesurathnam moved to the International University of the Caribbean, Kingston, Jamaica, where he began his sojourn in the New millennium and served as a theological educator for nearly a decade[31] until his death on 8 August 2011[5] at the Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad.

Writings[edit | edit source]

Yesurathnam's works are available in nearly 35 research institutes, comprising seminaries, state universities and research academies across Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.[32]

  • 1972, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's concept of man and its relevance for a Christian interpretation of man in India
  • 1987, The adequacy of the concept of Avatara for expounding the Christian doctrine of incarnation
  • 1987, The Mythic Symbol Avatara in Indian Conceptual Formulations
  • 1988, Religious Pluralism: Some Implications for the Mission of the Church
  • 1990, Abhishiktānanda : An Indian Christian Theologian with a difference
  • 1993, Contours of the emerging Indian Church: Problems and Possibilities
  • 1998, Liberation from Jubilee Perspective
  • 1999, Can the Clergy make it ?
  • 1999, Book Review: Mission Today, Challenges and Responses
  • 2000, Contextualizing in Mission
  • 2001, Book Review: Relevant Patterns of Christian Witness in India: People as Agents of Mission
  • 2001, Channels of Peace: A Theological Perspective
  • 2003, The Cross of Christ as the Anchor of Hope in Suffering
  • 2006, A Christian Dialogical Theology: The Contribution of Swami Abhishiktananda (Henri Le Saux)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 R.Yesurathnam, A Christian Dialogical Theology: The Contribution of Swami Abhishiktananda, Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 2006.[1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 K. M. Hiwale (Compiled), Directory of the United Theological College 1910–1997, Bangalore, 1998. Past students of the graduate course, p.33; Postgraduate course, p.106.; D.Th., p.142.[2]
  3. 3.0 3.1 R. Yesurathnam, The Cross of Christ as the Anchor of Hope in Suffering, National Council of Churches Review, Volume 123, 2003, pp.195-206.[3]
  4. 4.0 4.1 R. Yesurathnam, Book Review on Mission Today, Challenges and Responses in International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Volume 3, Issue 136, July 1999, p.139.[4]
  5. 5.0 5.1 Senate of Serampore College (University), Minutes of the Eighty-sixth meeting of the Senate of Serampore College (University) held on 9 and 10 February 2012 at the New Theological College, Dehradun, 2012. [5]
  6. 6.0 6.1 Charles E. Van Engen, Five Perspectives of Contextually Appropriate Missional Theology in Charles H. Kraft (Edited), Appropriate Christianity, William Carey Library, Pasadena, 2005, p.194.[6]
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sonia Calza, La contemplazione: via privilegiata al dialogo cristiano-induista : Sulle orme di J. Monchanin, H. Le Saux, R. Panikkar e B. Griffiths, Pauline, Milan, 2001, p.359.[7]
  8. T. Swami Raju, The Study of Religion: Methods of Perspectives, BTESSC, SATHRI, Bangalore, 2004, p.54.[8]
  9. Herbert Jai Singh, The Teaching of Religions in the Indian Context, Indian Journal of Theology, Volume 29, Numbers 3 and 4, July–December 1980, pp.149-159.[9]
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bob Robinson, Christians Meeting Hindus: An Analysis and Theological Critique of the Hindu-Christian Encounter in India, Regnum, Oxford, 2004, p.275.[10]
  11. Catherine Cornille (Edited), The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Inter-Religious Dialogue, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. [11]
  12. Steven Tsoukalas, Krishna and Christ: Body-divine Relation in the Thought of Sankara, Ramanuja and Classical Christian Orthodoxy, Paternoster, Milton Keynes, 2007, pp.23, 227, 240, 241.[12]
  13. S. Joseph, Adaptation of the Gospel Tradition in Luke, ISPCK, 2007 Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  14. Akintunde E. Akinade, The Crucible of Faith: Justice and Liberation in the work of Engelbert Mvent in Religions - A Scholarly Journal, Issue 3, 2012, pp.107-116. [13]
  15. John C. B. Webster, The Church of South India Golden Jubilee in International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Volume 22, Number 2, 1998, pp.50-54.[14]
  16. R. Yesurathnam, Liberation from Jubilee Perspective in South India Churchman, July 1997, pp.7-8.[15]
  17. Stanley Jedidiah Samartha, "Vision and Reality: Reflections on the Church of South India" in People's Reporter, 1–15 September 1997, p.4.
  18. Elizabeth Thelma Johnson, Jesus' Tears!, ISPCK, New Delhi, 2007, p.xv. [16]
  19. R. Yesurathnam, Religious Pluralism: Some Implications for the Mission of the Church in H. S. Wilson (Edited), The Church on the Move: A Quest to Affirm the Biblical Faith, Christian Literature Society, Chennai, 1988.[17]
  20. Hans Schwarz, Theology in a Global Context: The Last Two Hundred Years, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2005. pp.523-526. [18]
  21. Walter Jacob Hollenweger, My Pilgrimage in Mission, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Volume 29, Number 2, 2005, p. 85-88.[19]
  22. David Komaravalli, Divine Operation and Human Response: A Comparison Between Rudolf Bultmann's Understanding of the Pauline Perspectives and Certain Elements in Recent Indian Thought, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 1973.[20]
  23. Mar Aprem Mooken, Indian Christian who is who, Bombay Parish Church of the East, Bombay, 1983, p.106.[21]
  24. Senate of Serampore College, List of the Recipient of the Degree of Doctor of Theology. [22]
  25. Antony Kalliath, The Word in the Cave: The Experiential Journey of Swami Abhishiktānanda to the Point of Hindu-Christian Meeting, Intercultural Publications, New Delhi, 1996, p.436.[23]
  26. Diocese of Nandyal Archived 2010-01-06 at the Wayback Machine
  27. National Council of Churches Review, Volume 112, 1992, p.774.[24]
  28. William Gordon Carder, On theological education in Andhra Pradesh of the Canadian Baptist Mission Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars 1880-1975 in Indian Church History Review, Volume 13, Issue 1, 1979, pp.70-84.[25]
  29. Matthias Freudenberg, Anniversary letter to Jürgen Fangmeier, 2011, p.6.[26]
  30. R. Yesurathnam, Book Review: Relevant Patterns of Christian Witness in India: People as Agents of Mission, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Volume 25, Issue 88, 2001. [27]
  31. Council for World Mission Annual Review 2009, Missionaries serving with CWM, 2009, pp. 18, 23.[28]
  32. WorldCat search on "Regunta Yesurathnam".[29]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Robert North, S.J. (Compiled) (1987). "Elenchus of Biblica". 3. ISSN 1123-5608.
  • Zaihmingthanga (Compiled) (1991). "Thesis Titles". Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College, Bangalore.
  • Jutta Sperber (2000). "Christians and Muslims: The Dialogue Activities of the World Council of Churches and Their Theological Foundation". ISBN 3-11-016795-6.
  • M. Sukdaven (2012). "A systematic understanding of the evolution of Hindu deities in the development of the concept of Avatara". 53 (1 and 2). ISSN 2413-9459.


Academic offices
Preceded by
Waldo Penner, CBCNC,
Ryder Devapriam, CSI
Teacher - in - Systematic Theology,
Andhra Christian Theological College,
Secunderabad

1974[1]-2001
Succeeded by
B. J. Christie Kumar, STBC,
G. Dyvasirvadam, CSI
Educational offices
Preceded by
G. Sampurna Rao, AELC
1993-1994
Principal,
Andhra Christian Theological College,
Secunderabad

1994-1998
Succeeded by
K. D. G. Prakasa Rao, CBCNC
1998-2002


This article "Regunta Yesurathnam" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Regunta Yesurathnam. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.

  1. WorldCat search on "Regunta Yesurathnam".[30]


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