P. Surya Prakash

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Bishop Emeritus
P. Surya Prakash
CSI
Bishop Emeritus – in – Karimnagar
Church Christian
Diocese Karimnagar
See Church of South India
In office 2007–2014
Predecessor S. John Theodore
Successor K. Reuben Mark
Orders
Ordination 31 July 1977, Medak
by The Right Reverend B. G. Prasada Rao, Bishop - in - Medak
Consecration 26 March 2007
by The Most Reverend B. P. Sugandhar, Moderator
Personal details
Born (1949-02-28) 28 February 1949 (age 68)
Dudgaon, Nizamabad District, Andhra Pradesh
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Bishop Emeritus P. Surya Prakash was the fifth Bishop-in-Karimnagar Diocese of the Church of South India.[1] from 2007 through 2014 and occupied the Cathedra in Karimnagar's Wesley Cathedral. He retired on account of superannuation in 2014 following which the Church of South India Synod headquartered in Chennai appointed a successor to him in 2015.

After discerning his avocation towards priesthood, Surya Prakash entered the portals of a Protestant Seminary in 1972[2] in Bangalore where he studied spirituality leading to the award of the graduate degree of Bachelor of Divinity in 1976 after which he began pastoring parishes within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Diocese of Medak, Church of South India. In 1980,[2] Surya Prakash went on to major in Greek and New Testament and became a member of the Society for Biblical Studies, India in which his Professor, J. G. F. Collison was already a distinguished member. Again from 1982, Surya Prakash continued to pastor parishes of the Diocese of Medak until Victor Premasagar sent him for doctoral studies in 1987 to the Kirchliche Hochschule, Bethel, Bielefeld, Germany where researched on Homiletics specializing in indigenous movements and Churches in India, especially the work of Sadhu Sundar Singh. Roger E. Hedlund, the Missiologist with major contribution to indigenous Christianity in India terms Surya Prakash as a leading authority[3] on Sadhu Sundar Singh.

From 1991 onwards, Surya Prakash spent nearly a decade teaching Homiletics at the United Theological College, Bangalore, an autonomous College affiliated to the Senate of Serampore College (University) until 2000 when he went to Stuttgart as India Liaison Secretary of the EMS succeeding Luise Plock who bridged the gap after C. L. Furtado.[4] After a distinguished record at Stuttgart, Surya Prakash returned to India in 2005 donning the role of a Presbyter at the Diocese of Medak until his elevation to the Bishopric in 2007 in the adjoining Diocese of Karimnagar to succeed the Old Testament Scholar and Bishop S. J. Theodore who retired on attaining superannuation.

Surya Prakash contributed as an academician and as an administrator to the Church taking into consideration not only the mainline Churches but the small and indigenous Churches in India as well. In 2006, India's first[5] University (a University under Section 2 (f) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956[6])with degree-granting authority validated by a Danish Charter and ratified by the Government of West Bengal elected Surya Prakash as a Member of its Council [7] in which Surya Prakash continues to contribute to theological education and research. In 2010, the Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad an Institute with inter-faith concerns with focus on Islam partnered by the Canadian Baptist Ministries elected Surya Prakash as its Chairperson[8] where he provides leadership in an inter-religious setting.

Early years and studies[edit]

Surya Prakash was born in Dudgaon in Nizamabad District in undivided Andhra Pradesh, India to Smt. Guyyani Sundaramma and Sri Perumalla Prakasham who realised the need for education and sent him to the CSI-Wesley Boys High School, Secunderabad from where he completed schooling and pre-university studies in 1968 and continued higher studies at the State-run Nizam College of the Osmania University where he earned a graduate degree leading to Bachelor of Arts in English in 1972.

Spirituality and Seminary studies[edit]

During the incumbency of Bishop H. D. L. Abraham,[9] then Bishop – in – Medak (1968–1975), Surya Prakash evinced interest in pursuing a priestly vocation and was sent to the United Theological College, Bengaluru in 1972,[10] then headed by the eminent theologian Joshua Russell Chandran, where Surya Prakash completed the graduate degree of Bachelor of Divinity (B. D.) in 1976 during the Registrarship of D. S. Satyaranjan at Bengaluru.[11] Incidentally, Christopher Asir and J. W. Gladstone who also led the Bishopric of the Church of South India in other dioceses also happened to pursue theology at the same College during that period.[12]

Ordination & Pastorship[edit]

Soon after Surya Prakash's return to his Diocese, he was assigned a Deacon's role in Parishes of the Diocese of Medak and assigned to Varni[13] near Nizamabad and was ordained by then Bishop – in – Medak, B. G. Prasada Rao (1976–1981) as a Presbyter on 31 July 1977 in the Medak Cathedral in Medak[14] after which he was made Presbyter – in – Charge in Adilabad.

Post-graduate studies[edit]

The Diocese of Medak sent Surya Prakash to pursue further studies in theology and was sent again to the United Theological College, Bengaluru where he enrolled for the post-graduate degree of Master of Theology (M. Th.) in the discipline of New Testament in 1980[15] studying under J. G. F. Collison[16] and K. James Carl then Professors of New Testament who stipulated a tough regimen of study which Surya Prakash stuck to and worked out a dissertation entitled Theological motives in Mark - a redactional critical study.[17] This was during the time that the Old Testament Scholar G. Babu Rao began doctoral studies in Bengaluru.[18] Prakash's classmates included Prasanna Kumari Samuel[19] of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Surya Prakash also went to Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts and had an exposure at the Boston University School of Theology[14] where he was also Student Chaplain at the United Methodist Church of All Nations[20] By the year 1982, Surya Prakash was awarded an M. Th.[14] in New Testament by the Senate of Serampore College. Prakash was then reassigned a ministerial role in the Diocese of Medak as Presbyter – in – Charge in Bellampalli.

Research[edit]

Sadhu Sundar Singh, the inspiration for Prof. Surya Prakash's doctoral thesis at Bielefeld.

In the year 1987, during the Bishopric of the Old Testament Scholar the Right Reverend Victor Premasagar (1982–1992), Surya Prakash was sent for higher studies to Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany[15] where he pursued a doctoral degree (Dr. Theol.) in Homiletics under the India-born Traugott Stählin[21] at the Kirchliche Hochschule Bethel.[22] submitting a dissertation entitled "The Preaching of Sadhu Sundar Singh: A Homiletic Analysis of Independent Preaching and Personal Christianity" which was later published in 1991.[23]

Ecclesiastical contribution[edit]

Professorship[edit]

The United Theological College, Bengaluru, then under the Principalship of the Old Testament Scholar E. C. John invited Surya Prakash to serve on its faculty where he began teaching Practical Theology from 1991–2000.[14] Apart from his teaching, Prakash continued to don the priestly mantle. He was Associate Presbyter at St. Peter's Telugu Church,[24] Mission Road and at St. Mark's Cathedral, Bangalore[25] Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bangalore. In 1993 during the Principalship of the Old Testament Scholar Gnana Robinson Prakash was sent to Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey for a course in Speech Communication in Ministry and Worship[26] During the academic year 1997 – 1998, the Professor went on a sabbatical as Visiting Professor to San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo and thereafter to Germany to the historical Mission Seminary in Hermannsburg. He also taught at his alma mater Kirchliche Hochschule Bethel, Bielefeld before returning to Bengaluru.

Administratorship[edit]

Evangelisches Missionswerk in Südwestdeutschland (EMS)[edit]

While teaching at the Seminary in Bengaluru, the Evangelisches Missionswerk in Südwestdeutschland (EMS) – (Association of Churches and Missions in South Western Germany), Stuttgart invited[14] Surya Prakash to be its Liaison Secretary[27] for India in 2000.[28] The then Principal of the Seminary, O. V. Jathanna[29] relieved him while the Diocese of Medak under B. P. Sugandhar (1993–2008) loaned the services of Surya Prakash to the EMS, Stuttgart. Surya Prakash began monitoring partnership between the EMS and the Church of South India. He was also made the Deputy General Secretary of the EMS[14] in 2002.

While at Stuttgart, Surya Prakash was also on the Chaplaincy[30] of St. Catherine's Church.[31]

With the end of the term of Surya Prakash at the EMS, he returned to Medak Diocese in 2005 and was made Presbyter-in-Charge of Church of St. John the Baptist, Secunderabad.[14]

Bishopric[edit]

The Diocese of Karimnagar had seen four Bishop's since its erection post 1950. Bishops B. Prabhudass, G. B. Devasahayam, K. E. Swamidass and Sanki John Theodore provided stable leadership. John Theodore, the predecessor of Surya Prakash vacated the Cathedra on account of attaining superannuation resulting in sede vacante. The Church of South India Synod announced fresh elections to be conducted following which Surya Prakash hailing from the Diocese of Medak contested and declared elected. Then Moderator of the Church of South India, B. P. Sugandhar principally consecrated[32] Surya Prakash as Bishop – in – Karimnagar on 26 March 2007 at the CSI-Wesley Cathedral, Karimnagar. After leading the Diocese for nearly eight years, Surya Prakash retired on attaining superannuation in 2014. The sede vacante was filled in by the Church of South India Synod which appointed K. Reuben Mark in 2015 to succeed him.

Lambeth Conference[edit]

The Church of South India (CSI)is an autonomous body in the Anglican Communion headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth. Bishop's of the CSI also participate in the decennial Lambeth Conference. Bishop Surya Prakash attended the fourteenth Lambeth Conference held at the University of Kent, Kent from 16 July – 3 August 2008.

Writings[edit]

Articles[edit]

  • 1991, Sermon Preparation: Biblical Preaching, Methodological Issues and Perspectives,[33]
  • 1994, Mission of the Church in a Pluralistic Society,[34]
  • 1995, Homiletics and Preaching in India,[35]
  • 1997, Liturgy and Worship of the Church of South India,[36]
  • 2001, Towards Understanding "Ecumenism" as Mission of the Church,[37]
  • 2004, Sadhu Sundar Singh's Contribution,[38]
  • 2005, The Episcopacy in the Church of South India: A Reflection by a CSI Presbyter: My Vision of Episcopacy in the CSI,[39]
  • 2005, Church in India: Is it a visible sign of the invisible grace of God?,[40]
  • 2009, Spirit of Lent, in Mount of Olives, our Lenten journey with Jesus,[41]

Books[edit]

Books written[edit]

  • 1991, The Preaching of Sadhu Sundar Singh: A Homiletic Analysis of Independent Preaching and Personal Christianity,[23]

Books edited[edit]

  • 1997, Unite-liberate-celebrate: A Guide for the Study of the Theme,[42]
  • 2001, (with Vinod Victor and Leslie Nathaniel), Ecumenism: Prospects and Challenges,[43]

Leadership[edit]

Academic institutions[edit]

Senate of Serampore College (University)[edit]

From 2006 onwards Surya Prakash began serving as a Council member of India's first University striving for providing sound spiritual formation to the Priests of the Church in India.

Andhra Christian Theological College[edit]

Formed in 1964, the Andhra Christian Theological College, Hyderabad is a special purpose entity with major partners including the Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists and the Church of South India in which Surya Prakash represented the Diocese of Karimnagar and was ex-officio member of the Board of Governors of the College which elected him as the Chairperson of the Board for a 3-year term, 2009-2011.

United Theological College, Bangalore[edit]

In 2009, the United Theological College, Bangalore, an autonomous College affiliated to the Senate of Serampore College (University) elected Surya Prakash as its President where he provided leadership to the College with high academic credentials.

Inter-faith institution[edit]

Henry Martyn Institute[edit]

Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad managed by the Canadian Baptist Ministries which also has concerns at the Andhra Christian Theological College as well as along the sea coast along the Bay of Bengal through the Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars elected Surya Prakash as its Chairperson of its Council in 2010 where Surya Prakash continues in that role.[8]

Child-centric institution[edit]

India Sunday School Union[edit]

In 2002, the Coonoor based India Sunday School Union elected Surya Prakash as its President for the term 2002-2011.

Social research institution[edit]

Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society[edit]

The CISRS, Bangalore is a social research institution which elected Surya Prakash as its President for the term 2007-2011.

Religious titles
Preceded by
S. J. Theodore
1993-2007
Bishop - in - Karimnagar
Church of South India

2007-2014
Succeeded by
K. Reuben Mark
2015-
Academic offices
Preceded by
Professor,
United Theological College, Bangalore

1991-2000
Succeeded by
Other offices
Preceded by
Luise Plock
1997-2000
India Liaison Secretary,
Evangelical Mission in Solidarity,
Stuttgart

2000-2005
Succeeded by
-
Honorary titles
Preceded by
C. L. Furtado
Chairperson,
Henry Martin Insititute,
Hyderabad

2010-2015[8]
Succeeded by
G. Dyvasirvadam
2015-
Preceded by
G. Dyvasirvadam
2003-2009
Chairperson,
United Theological College, Bangalore

2009-2012
Succeeded by
G. Devakadasham
2012-2015
Preceded by
S. V. Sampath Kumar, MCI
2005-2007
President,
Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society
Bangalore

2007-2011
Succeeded by
V. Devasahayam
2011-2014
Preceded by
V. E. Christopher, AELC
2007-2009
Chairperson, Board of Governors,
Andhra Christian Theological College, Hyderabad

2009-2011
Succeeded by
R. R. D. Sajeeva Raju, STBC
2011-2013
Preceded by
M. Elia Peter, MCI
-2002
Chairperson,
India Sunday School Union
Coonoor

2002-2011
Succeeded by
Dhyanchand Carr
2011-

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Hindu, Andhra Pradesh, 26 March 2007. Internet, accessed 30 November 2008. [1]
  2. ^ a b K. M. Hiwale (Compiled), Directory of the United Theological College 1910-1997, Bangalore, 1997. pp.50 and 118
  3. ^ Roger E. Hedlund (Edited), Christianity is Indian: The Emergence of an Indigenous Community, ISPCK, New Delhi, 2000. Cited in Klaus Koschorke (Edited), in Transcontinental Links in the History of Non-Western Christianity, Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 2002. [2]
  4. ^ Zeitschrift für Kultur, Politik, Kirche, Volume 46, Verein Reformatio, 1997, p.309. [3]
  5. ^ Sankar Ray, The Hindu (Business Line), 11 April 2008 Almost a century later, the charter was endorsed officially under the Bengal Govt Act IV of 1918. Internet, accessed 30 November 2008. [4]
  6. ^ The Senate of Serampore College (University) is a University within the meaning of Section 2 (f) of the UGC Act, 1956 under which a University means a University established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act, and includes any such institution as may, in consultation with the University concerned, be recoginsed by the Commission in accordance with the regulations made in this behalf under this Act. The UGC took the opinion that the Senate fell under the purview of Section 2 (f) of the said Act since The Serampore College Act, 1918 was passed by the Government of West Bengal.
  7. ^ Senate Web Site. Internet, accessed 30 November 2008
  8. ^ a b c Henry Martyn Institute, Board of Governors
  9. ^ Cf. Wikipedia article on Diocese of Medak for H. D. L. Abraham, B. G. Prasada Rao, Victor Premasagar and B. P. Sugandhar during whose incumbency Surya Prakash was sent for studies.
  10. ^ D. J. S. Sekhar, Rev. Dr. P. Surya Prakash : A Church Visionary, Interview Excerpts in The Parish Messenger, Church of St. John the Baptist, Secunderabad, Volume 22, April – May 2007, pp. 4–5. [5]
  11. ^ Cf. Wikipedia article on D. S. Satyaranjan
  12. ^ Cf. Wikipedia articles on Christopher Asir and J. W. Gladstone.
  13. ^ Varni
  14. ^ a b c d e f g D. J. S. Sekhar, op. cit.
  15. ^ a b Ibid.
  16. ^ Max L. Stackhouse, Apologia – Contextualisation, Globalisation and Mission in Theological Education, William B. Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1988, p.6. [6]
  17. ^ P. Surya Prakash, Theological motives in Mark - a redactional critical study in Thesis Titles, Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College, Bangalore, 1991
  18. ^ G. Babu Rao, Content Analysis of Theological Syllabi – Old Testament, Religion and Society, Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, 3 September 1985. [7]
  19. ^ George Zachariah, Remembering Prasanna Kumari Samuel in Epistle Summer 2006, Chicago, p.21. [8]
  20. ^ United Methodist Church of All Nations, Boston.[9]
  21. ^ Traugott Stählin is Professor of Practical Theology at the Kirchliche Hochschule Bethel. Internet, accessed 1 December 2008. [10]
  22. ^ Kirchliche Hochschule Bethel, Bielefeld. Internet, accessed 30 November 2008. [11]
  23. ^ a b P. Surya Prakash, The Preaching of Sadhu Sundar Singh: A Homiletic Analysis of Independent Preaching and Personal Christianity, Wordmakers, Bengaluru, 1991. Google Books. Internet, accessed 30 November 2008. [12]
  24. ^ St. Peter's Telugu Church. Internet at the Wayback Machine (archived 29 July 2009), accessed 1 December 2008
  25. ^ St. Marks Cathedral. Internet, accessed 1 December 2008
  26. ^ Department of Practical Theology at the Princeton Theological Seminary
  27. ^ Mission heute gestalten, Jahresbericht 2003, p. 24
  28. ^ Stefan Heide, EMS Porträt, Gewonneneschätze, 2005–2006
  29. ^ Cf. Wikipedia article on United Theological College, Bengaluru.
  30. ^ Eric Jarman, Warden's Corner, Crossroads – The Anglican Chaplaincy in Stuttgart, April 2007, p.2. Internet, accessed 30 November 2008. [13]
  31. ^ St. Catherine's Church, Stuttgart. Internet, accessed 30 November 2008. [14]
  32. ^ The Hindu, 26 March 2007, op. cit.
  33. ^ P. Surya Prakash, Sermon Preparation: Biblical Preaching, Methodological Issues and Perspectives in The South India Churchman, August 1991, pp.6-9; and also in Bangalore Theological Forum,vol.xxiii, No.3, Sept.91, pp.25-37. Cited in Robert North (Edited), Elunchus of Biblica, Volume 8, 1992, p.155.[15]
  34. ^ P. Surya Prakash, Mission of the Church in a Pluralistic Society, Bangalore Theological Forum, Volumes 26-27, Bangalore, 1994, p.63. [16]
  35. ^ P. Surya Prakash, Homiletics and Preaching in India in William H. Willimon and Richard Lischer (Edited), Concise Encyclopedia of Preaching, Westminster Knox Press, Louisville, 1995, pp. 238-241. Cited in William A. Dyrness, Veli-Matti (Edited), Global Dictionary of Theology: A Resource for the Worldwide Church, Intervarsity Press, England and USA, p.707. [17]
  36. ^ P. Surya Prakash, Liturgy and Worship of the Church of South India in J. W. Gladstone (Edited), United to Unite, History of the Church of South India 1947-1997, pp.127-132.
  37. ^ P. Surya Prakash, Towards Understanding "Ecumenism" as Mission of the Church in Vinod Victor, Leslie Nathaniel, Surya Prakash (Edited), Ecumenism: Prospects and Challenges, ISPCK, New Delhi, 2001, pp.xv-xxiii. [18]
  38. ^ P. Surya Prakash, Sadhu Sundar Singh's Contribution in Roger E. Hedlund (Edited), Christianity is Indian: The Emergence of an Indigenous Community, Revised edition, ISPCK, New Delhi, 2004, pp.113-128.
  39. ^ P. Surya Prakash, The Episcopacy in the Church of South India: A Reflection by a CSI Presbyter: My Vision of Episcopacy in the CSI in Gideon Shobhanam, Vinod Victor (Edited), Shepherd of a Pilgrim People, ISPCK, New Delhi, 2005, pp. 55-70.
  40. ^ P. Surya Prakash, Church in India: Is it a visible sign of the invisible grace of God? in Joseph George (Edited), The God of All Grace, Asian Trading Corporation, Bangalore, 2005, pp. 475-488.
  41. ^ P. Surya Prakash, Spirit of Lent in Mount of Olives, our Lenten journey with Jesus, ICSA Books, Chennai, 2009, pp.1-4. [19]
  42. ^ P. Surya Prakash, Unite-liberate-celebrate: A Guide for the Study of the Theme, Pastoral Aid Department of the Church of South India, Chennai, 1997. [20]
  43. ^ Vinod Victor, Leslie Nathaniel, Surya Prakash (Edited), Ecumenism: Prospects and Challenges, ISPCK, New Delhi, 2001. [21]

Further reading[edit]