The launching of Theological Publications in India, a Christian religious
publishing institution and a registered charitable society, dates back to
1969. It originated in the wake of Second Vatican Council as the result of
a broad-based consultation of representatives of all Indian seminaries.
While trying to spell out the aim and the programme of Seminary training,
they were preoccupied also with the necessity of providing professors and
students with adequate material in the field of intellectual formation. Local
publishers were not dealing with the type of books needed for seminary
training. Foreign publications were out of reach on account of import
restrictions and high cost. Therefore a committee was set up to look into
the matter and it was decided to start Theological Publications in India
(TPI). It was started with a twofold objective: (1) To make Indian edition of
books that are needed in India in large numbers, but could not be imported
because of their high cost. These books should be made available to Indian
students at the lowest possible price. (2) To foster the writing in India of
such books that are needed for the formation of priests, religious and
seminarians and to take care of their publication.
The founding members of the TPI were the representatives of
Seminaries, of the Bishops Conference and of the Conference of Religious.
They gave TPI its status and the assurance that they would always support
it. Owing to the diffidence of foreign publishers in TPI’s potential, obtaining
copyrights for books published in the West was a difficult task. However,
situations changed when TPI fortunately met Mr. Geoffrey Chapman,
owner of the Chapman Publishers Ltd., England, who evinced great interest
in the aims and objectives of TPI. While strictly adhering to the terms of the
agreements, TPI began to sign similar contracts with several other foreign
publishers in USA and England and so made its mark as a trustworthy
publishing house. As of now, TPI has to its credit the Indian edition of more
than hundred important books in the field of Bible, theology, spirituality,
philosophy and canon law.
Indian reprints of foreign publications were going a long way to meet
the requirements of Indian students and professors, clergy, religious as well
as the laity. Simultaneously TPI was trying to bring out its own books. Several
prospective authors were approached and gradually TPI was able to bring
out several solid books written in India. Some of these books found a good
sale abroad, so much so that foreign publishers started buying copyrights
from TPI. Among such publications The Christian Faith, the doctrinal
documents of the Catholic Faith, edited by J. Neuner and J. Dupuis, and
The Church and the Bible, official documents of the Catholic Church, are to
be specially mentioned. Theological Text Books Series, prepared under the
auspices of the CBCI Inter-Ritual Committee for Text Books in Theology, is a
new venture in the production of Indian theological literature.
Going through the numerous publications of TPI during these years,
one is impressed by the fact that this organization has provided books at
an affordable price in almost all areas of theological education. In the field
of original Indian theological research also the role TPI has played is very
significant. In fact, TPI has a very important role to play in the realization of
the mission of the Church in the field of theological education.