Madathilparampil Mammen Thomas

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Dr. M. M. Thomas (born as Madathilparampil Mammen Thomas, 1916—1996) was an Indian Christian theologian, social thinker, activist and former Governor of the Indian State, Nagaland (from May 1990 to April 1992). He also served as the Chairperson of the Central Committee of World Council of Churches (1968–1975). He was conferred with the honorary doctorate degree by the University of Uppsala in 1978.

Early life[edit]

Thomas was born on 15 May 1916 at Kozhenchery, Kerala India. His father M. M. Mammen was a reformation leader, printer and publisher based in Kozhenchery, Kerala. He was also involved in the Independence Movement in India during the Salt Satygraha. His mother was Ooriapadickal Mariamma, a school teacher. They had nine children of which Thomas was the eldest. He had six brothers, M. M. Cherian, M. M. George, M. M. Mammen, M. M. Abraham, M. M. John and Prof. M. M. Ninan, and two sisters, M. M. Aleyamma and M. M. Sosamma.

Relation with the Mar Thoma Church[edit]

He had a Christian upbringing at home. Soon after obtaining his degree in 1935, he accepted the post of a teacher at Ashramam High School, Perumbavoor, a school run by the Mar Thoma Church, where the teachers used to pay part of their meager salary to the students from poor families. In 1937, instead of taking a lucrative job he went to Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala and started an orphanage there. He was influenced by the Indian Independence and also by the Marxist Movement.

He was the first full-time Organizing secretary of Yuvajana Sakhyam (the Youth wing of the Mar Thoma Church) from 1945-47.[1]

He applied for ordination in the Mar Thoma Church, but that was rejected because of his membership in Communist party. At the same time he was rejected by the communist party because of his faith. But by self-education he became a theologian and was later involved in ecumenical movement.

Ecumenical movement[edit]

He was the moderator of the Central committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 1968-1975. Published a number of books, chaired a number of meetings of the WCC and left his foot prints in the history of World Ecumenical movement.

Governor of Nagaland[edit]

In 1991 he was appointed as Governor of Nagaland, a state with a large number of Christians. Due to his disagreement with the Government of India he resigned in 1993.

Major works[edit]

  1. The acknowledged Christ of the Indian Renaissance (1969 SCM Press, London)
  2. Risking Christ for Christ's Sake
  3. Nagas towards 2000
  4. My Ecumenical Journey 1947-75 (1990)
  5. Response to Tyranny

Last days[edit]

He was living at Manjadi, Tiruvalla. He died on 3 December 1996 and was laid to rest at Tiruvalla, Kerala.


  1. ^ N.M.Mathew, Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram (Mar Thoma Church History) Vol III, (2008). P. 129.

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