- Anne Marie Petersen
A Danish Woman in South India
- A missionary story 1909 1951
Review by Dr. K. Rajaratnam:
It is true that friends make history. When they are friends with a similar commitment to helping the needy, they transcend national, political and cultural barriers. Anne Marie Petersen was such a friend of India and its heritage. In Denmark she appreciated the teaching and practice of Danish philosopher N. F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872). His Grundtvigianism preferred to do away with foreign languages in educating Danish people of common origin. It influenced Anne Marie Petersen so much that she decided not to emphasize on English as the medium of instruction in her school. Her sympathy towards Indians to respect their vernacular, their literature and the political destiny of their country made her an unwanted person not only for the British government in India, but also for her own mission agency. She chose to leave her mission and join all the leaders who were fighting to get political freedom for India.
The story of Anne Marie Petersen offers an excellent example how some Christian missionaries played an important role in building India as a nation.
Ms. Tine Elisabeth Larsen, the author of this book, has summarized her archival research results carried out in Denmark and India. She helps the reader understand the complex relationship of non-Indian Christian missionaries and India as a nation.
The book illuminates the role of some Christians in the movements led by Mahatma Gandhi. Ms. Elisabeths book makes an important contribution in highlighting the service rendered by woman missionaries to help the Indian Church and India as a nation.
I thank Dr. Daniel Jeyaraj and his team at the Lutheran Heritage Archives who supervised the publication of this book and the Navashakti Press for printing it beautifully. This is the third publication of Lutheran Heritage Archives and I hope this will find wide readership and benefit many.
Dr. K. Rajaratnam, Director,
Gurukul Lutheran Theological College & Research Institute.
Dansk – Indisk Historie- & Forskningsselskab
v/ Tine Elisabeth Larsen