Thursday, February 24, 2011


Francis Waghmare
GOA, FEBRUARY 24, 2011: Goa University Marathi Department held a two day seminar cum discussion on the Kristapurana of Fr. Thomas Stephens (1549-1619) from February 18 -19, 2011 at the Goa University Administrative Block Auditorium. It was a joint venture of Goa Vidyappeth Marathi Department and Don Bosco, Nashik. The theme of the seminar was: “Kristapurana: Father Thomasviracit Kristapurana va tya Kavyagranthace Fr. Nelson Falcao hyani kelele Arvacinikarana – Rashtriya Carcasatra” (Kristapurana of Father Thomas Stephens and the translation done by Fr. Nelson Falcao, sdb Volume of Poetry – A National Seminar). The University Hall was filled to capacity, which showed the great response from many intellectuals who gathered at the Goa University from far and near, and also from other Universities and Colleges.
There were eminent speakers both from the Christian as well as from Goa University. The whole Seminar was in Marathi. From the Christian side, the speakers and the themes of their talks were as follows: Fr. Dr. Nelson Falcao, sdb (Main Talk of the Seminar on “Mi Kristapuranace kelelya Sampadanace Svarupa va Kristapuranatil Samskritikaranaci Tatve,” – The Form of the Translation and Edition of the Kristapurana done by me and the Principles of Inculturation in the Kristapurana), Rev. Fr. Francis de Britto (“Bible and the Kristapurana”), Prof. Padmashree Suresh Gundu Amonkar (“Father Thomas Stephens and his Kristapurana – Some Observations”), Prof. Dr. S.M. Tadkodkar, HOD Marathi Department, Goa University (“Kristapurana, a Root Volume in Marathi Language”), Prof. Dr. Vedashree Thigale (“The Literary Beauty of the Kristapurana”), Prof. Dr. Ramakant Karad (“Social Aspects in the Kristapurana”), Prof. Dr. Yesadas Bhadke (“Study of the Stylistics of the Kristapurana”), Prof. Dr. Kalyan Kale (Ex-HOD Marathi Dept. Pune University - “Various Editions of the Kristapurana and Linguistics”), Prof. Sunita Sunil Umrasakar (“The Form of the Christian Literature of Gomantak”).
Prof. Dr. K. Shripad Bhat, Literary Head of the University, affirmed that the Kristapurana written in Marathi and translated by Fr. Dr. Nelson Falcao in contemporary Marathi is both, enriching the language as well as reaching to the people. He said that the Kristapurana after its translation into English within a few months by Fr. Dr. Nelson Falcao will cut across all cultures, traditions and religions. Prof. Dr. Vasudev Sawant, Ex-HOD of Marathi Department, Goa University, stated that the Kristapurana is a symbol of openness, broad-mindedness and inter-religious dialogue. He also greatly recognized the fact that in the Kristapurana, the Great Christian Biblical Epic, the Greco-Hebrew and post-Tridentine Christian message has been expressed and interpreted in Hindu-Vaishnavaite tradition. The significant words of late Dr. S.G. Tulpule were quoted more than once, i.e., that through the writing of the life of Christ in Hindu-Vaishnavaite, what is constructed is a Hindu temple but the Deity inside is Christ (‘Murti Khristaci, Mandira Hinduce’).
At the Valedictory function of the two-day seminar, Dr. Fr. Nelson Falcao gave the concluding words. He affirmed the urgent need of communication and dialogue between religions, cultures, languages, people and nations. Fr. Nelson stated that the basis and foundation of inter-religious dialogue is the fact that no religion and no person have the monopoly of the knowledge and experience of God. God is beyond all knowledge; He is a mystery. We have to keep seeking, finding, recognizing and experiencing God in every person and in every religion. In trying to do that we have to love one another since we are in God and God is in us.

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