ACPI is the abbreviation for ‘Association of Christian Philosophers of India.’ It has had a humble origin, stable growth and reasonable achievements. The ACPI was conceived in 1975 and was born as an informal group in 1976. For a few years, this small group of Indian Christian Philosophers used to gather once a year for some informal sharing on philosophical questions of relevance. Eventually it was felt that the ACPI should engage itself in more serious and creative philosophical discussions. Thus the desire to do more serious philosophizing marks the beginning of the ACPI having annual meetings of three days, for the presentation of short papers and discussions on recurring philosophical themes from the curricula of Institutes of Philosophy. This too continued for a few years. In 1989 the ACPI was registered as a Society with its statutes, laws and by-laws, and thus it gained a formal look in its functioning and administration. The ACPI membership was opened to Indian Christians involved in philosophical research by way of lecturing and/or publishing on philosophical questions. The Annual Meetings were regularly held with better planning, during which a relevant theme was thoroughly studied by means of research-papers and group-discussions.

From 2002 onwards the ACPI began to publish the research papers in the form of books—by 2010 eleven ACPI books were published. With the starting of the publication of ACPI books, the academic rigour and standard of the papers presented at the annual meetings, and the number of participants have considerably increased. Besides, the ACPI gradually occupied a place in the academic map of India. The academic identity of the ACPI had to be strengthened with its specific way of philosophizing—an Indian Christian Philosophizing. Efforts towards it got under way with an ACPI seminar in 2003 on “Philosophical Methods,” in view of evolving a relevant method for Indian Christian Philosophizing, with the help of an in-depth study of the prevalent ones. Since then the ACPI has been collectively convinced of the need to philosophize with a difference as Indian Christians. Standing rooted in the twofold rich heritage of being Indian and Christian, the ACPI has been taking up the challenge of philosophizing with a difference. The ‘whence’ and the ‘whither’ of this philosophizing is the same: from its givenness of being Indian and Christian, the ACPI by its philosophizing journeys towards its goal of being Indian and Christian; the ACPI is now at its never-ending hermeneutical process of moving from the already to the not-yet. It is the enthusiasm to carry on this journey of philosophizing with greater intensity and velocity that prompted the ACPI to launch the daring project of an ACPI Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which got realized in 2010.

Thus what started as a humble venture has grown to be a movement of philosophizing, giving a momentum to the research potential of the growing community of philosophers in India. The little ‘spark’ of a small group of philosophers has been kindled into a bright ‘flame’ of a philosophical movement. With the newly triggered enthusiasm for philosophizing with a difference, the ACPI has the potential to explore the ‘unexplored’ realms of socio-philosophical relevance.

Johnson Puthenpurackal

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