A Prelude to the Study of Indigenous, Pre-European, Church Architecture of Kerala
Christianity is believed to have been first introduced to Kerala in 52 CE through St. Thomas, the Apostle. This paper introduces the traditional indigenous Church architecture of Kerala that existed before the arrival of Portuguese in 1498 CE. The paper mainly looks into the circumstances under which it got destroyed and also analyses the reasons for its disappearance. The paper concludes that after the arrival of the Europeans and, in their initiative to bring the Kerala church closer to the Western church, they constituted a conscious attempt to alter the religious architecture of traditional Kerala Christians, declaring that it was Hindu by nature. Their intervention caused an irreparable break in the age-old system, and introduced a totally new and alien style to the traditional church building character, form and scale, forcing the traditional church architecture of centuries to be wiped off forever.
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