Francis Xavier ClooneyMay 4, 2023
Saint Joseph in South India
Poetry, Mission and Theology in Costanzo Gioseffo Beschi's Tēmpāvaṇi
Costanzo Gioseffo Beschi was an Italian Jesuit who worked in South India from 1710 to 1747. A brilliant scholar of Tamil, his works include hymns, instructions for catechists, and a robust defense of the Catholic missionary approach. His most famous work is Tēmpāvaṇi (The Unfading Garland), an epic re-telling of the early life of Jesus, set in the context of the whole Biblical story, and surprisingly focused on St. Joseph, spouse of Mary and foster-father of Jesus. St. Joseph in South India argues that Beschi’s distinctively Catholic approach draws on methods already familiar in the Jesuit ethical and dramatic literature in post-Reformation Europe. Francis Xavier Clooney's Saint Joseph in South India: Poetry, Mission and Theology in Costanzo Gioseffo Beschi's Tēmpāvaṇi (Brill, 2022) includes a fresh translation of about 300 verses from Tēmpāvaṇi.
Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com.