Jesudas Mathew Athyal

Athyal Jesudas portraitDr. Jesudas Matthew Athyal is a Visiting Researcher with the center. He has extensive teaching and research experience in the areas of Philosophy, Theology, Religion and Social Analysis. Specialized in the religion and society of South Asia.

Education: Ph. D. (Philosophy), University of Poona, Pune, Maharashtra, India.

Work Experience:

Currently,           Visiting Researcher, Center for Global Christianity & Mission, Boston University School of Theology, Boston, MA

2009-2010           Associate, Boston Theological Institute, Newton, MA

2008-2009           Senior Research Fellow, Pluralism Project                                                                                      (Harvard University, Cambridge, MA)

2003 – 2008         Associate Professor of Social Analysis & Philosophy

Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai, India

Current Membership in Institutions:

  • Vice President, New England & Canadian Maritimes Region, American Academy of Religion (President-elect, for 2015)
  • Editorial Board Member, ABC-CLIO (2013).
  • Executive Editor, The Meeting Point (published by the Christian Institute for         South Asiamerican Concerns, New York) (2010-2013)
  • Board of Directors, American Academy of Religion, New England – Maritimes Region (from 2009)
  • American Academy of Religion (from 1998)
  • Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton,  NJ (from 1998)


  • American Academy of Religion, for the Indo-American Project on “A Comparative Study of the Identity and Social Distinctions among Indian Christians, at Home and in the Diaspora” (2014)
  • Council for World Mission, London, for the Study Project on, “Relevant Patterns of Christian Witness in the Pluralist Context of India” (1996-1998).
  • Missio, Italy, for MESP workshops in Northeast India (1997).
  • EMW, Germany, for the project, Patterns of Christian Mission (1998).
  • World Council of Churches, Geneva for research project on emerging forms of Church (1997).
  • Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, NJ for Resident membership (1998-99).
  • Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, for the publication of three volumes of the Project, “Relevant Patterns of Christian witness” (2000-2003).

Special Lectures:

2010             Lecture on, “Christianity in India in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities” (Boston University School of Theology, Boston, MA).

2010             Lecture on, “Edinburgh 2010: A Perspective from the South” (Overseas Ministries Study Center, New Haven, CT).

2008             Public Lecture on, “The Conversion Debate in India: From Tambaram to the Present” (Overseas Ministries Study Center, New Haven, CT).

2005             Advisor/ Consultant at the Mission Conference organized by the World Council of Churches at Athens, Greece.

1998             Annual Mission Lectures, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ.

1998             Paper on ‘Development Ethics and National Boundaries’, at the 20th World Congress of Philosophy, Boston, MA.

1994             Coordinator, CCA Consultation on Religion, State and Communalism, Chennai, India.

Courses Taught:

Understanding Indian Society; Religion and Society; Philosophy and Ethics; Social Analysis: The Social and Economic Context for Theologizing; Dalit Theology: Theology from a Subaltern Perspective; Third World Theology with Special Focus on Indian Christian Theology.

Publication Projects:

Forthcoming: Editor, Religion in Southeast Asia: An Encyclopedia. Pub: ABC-CLIO, CA, 2015.

Forthcoming: Editor, Azariah to Ninan Koshy: The Indian Presence in the Ecumenical Movement in the Twentieth Century.  Pub: WCC, Geneva, 2014.

As the Associate Editor of Oxford Encyclopedia of South Asian Christianity (2 vol.) (New Delhi: OUP, 2012), conducted Writers’ Workshops in different parts of India. Co-edited the publication and also, wrote 36 articles.

Conceived the Asia-American Study Project on “Interrogating Mission” Pub: News of Boundless Riches: Interrogating, Comparing, and Reconstructing Mission in a Global Era (2 vol.) (Delhi: ISPCK, 2008).

Coordinator the project on, “The Meaning of Mission in the Midst of Religious-Cultural Diversity in India” Pub: Bharatha Suviseshikaranam: Matha-Samskara Bahulathayil (in Malayalam). Tiruvalla: CSS, 1994.

Other Publications:


  • An Adventure in Faith: The Story of Dr. A. K. Tharien. Tiruvalla: CSS, 2004.


  • Gurukul Journal of Theological Studies & Gurukul Newsletter. Chennai: Gurukul, 2005 – 2008.
  • Relevant Patterns of Christian Witness in India. Tiruvalla: CSS, 2000.
  • Mission Today: Subaltern Perspectives. Tiruvalla: CSS, 2001.
  • The Community We Seek: Perspectives on Mission. Tiruvalla: CSS, 2003.
  • M. M. Thomas: The Man and His Legacy. Tiruvalla: TECT, 1997.
  • To Minister or to Administer?: Perspectives on Church Administration. Chennai: Gurukul, 1994.
  • Keeping Hope Alive: Theological Insights from the Past – For Today. Chennai: Gurukul, 1993.


  • Religion, State & Communalism: A Post-Ayodhya Reflection. Hong Kong: CCA, 1995.
  • Metropolitan Chrysostom on Mission in the Market Place. Tiruvalla: CSS, 2002.

Book Reviews:    13 book reviews, during 2009-2013 (List available on request).

Articles/Papers: 72 articles and papers, during 1987 – 2013 (List available on request).