Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bibliography of Christian Publications of Bangladesh and West Bengal Is Published

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The cover of the Christian bibliography book

The Pratibeshi Prakashani of Dhaka, in recent past, published the Bongio Christian Gronthaboli Porichiti (1715 - 1991) or Bibliography of Christians of Bengal (1715 - 1991). This annotated bibliography is a bilingual (Bangla and English) list of Christian -- both Catholic and Protestant -- publications (books, booklets, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, academic theses, souvenirs, and unpublished manuscripts). This 536-page book covers the period of 1715 to 1991 listing about 4,000 publications published by various Christian Churches, organizations and institutions.

An attempt has been made to include Christian publications that came out in the languages of Bangla (Bengali), English, Bawm, Chakma, Garo (Mandi), Marma, Oraon (Kurukh), Portuguese, Sadami, Santali and Tipra.

Publications included in this book come from the Catholic Church and several Protestant Churches -- Anglicans (Oxford Mission), Assemblies of God, Baptists, and Presbyterians.

Some of the several dozen categories of publications are: Bible, Bible Study, Biography, Blessings, Catechism, Christian Life, Christmas, Cooperatives, Death, Dialogue, Dictionary, Drama, Economic Development, Ethics, Faith, Family, Family Planning, God, Grammar, Health, Heaven, History, Homily, Human Rights, Hymns & Songs, Jesus Christ, Last Judgment, Leadership, Law (Rules & Regulations), Literature (Stories & Poetry), Liturgy, Love and Forgiveness, Marriage, Mass Communication, Meditation, Miracles, Music, Pilgrimage, Prayer, Sacraments, Sins, Truth, Virgin Mary, and Vocation.

The first published Christian book in Bangla was Kripar-Shastrer Ortho-bhed, written in Roman alphabet by Portuguese Augustinian missionary Father Manoel da Assumpcao, who was working at Nagori Mission, located in the present-day Gazipur District, Bangladesh. It was printed in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1743. It was a catechism in the question-and-answer form.

The other Bangla book, Brahman-Roman Catholic Sambad was written by Dom Antonio de Rozario, a son of the Hindu zaminder (feudal lord), converted at a young age to Christianity. This book is in the form of a dialogue between a Catholic priest and a Hindu Brahman. The Catholic priest tries to prove the superiority of Roman Catholic religion over Hinduism.

Boniface Subrata Gomes, the compiler and editor of this book, came up with the idea of having a comprehensive Christian bibliography after he had completed his Dhaka University Library Science thesis on a Christian bibliography covering the period of 1971 to 1980. His idea received an immediate support and an advisory committee was formed with some Catholic and Protestant Church leaders and writers. The project, started in July of 1990 under the guidance of the Christian Communications Centre, Dhaka, came to fruition with the publication of this book this year.

This bibliography is the first of its kind in the entire history of Christianity in Bangladesh and West Bengal of India. It is all the more significant because both Catholics and Protestants actively cooperated in this noble effort. Bookmark and Share