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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Rev. Dr. James Massey passes away.


Rev. Dr. (Habil) James Massey, one of the greatest champions of the Dalit cause in India, passed away on 2nd March 2015 in Patna where he was undergoing heart treatment. 

As one of the strongest voices for rights of Dalits, especially the Christians of Dalit origin, and having dedicated his life for the subaltern communities in India, his passing away is a great loss and has shocked the Indian Church and society. Being one of the pioneers and proponents of Dalit Theology, his contributions are immense to the field of theology and theological formation. He will be remembered as a “mentor to a generation of upcoming Dalit Theologians”. Rev. Dr. Massey, who was originally from Punjab, translated the Bible in Punjabi. He authored and edited more than twenty books, most of which are in-depth studies on Dalits and other subaltern communities in India. One of his major contributions is the Dalit Bible Commentary. He also served the minority communities in India in the capacity of member of Minority Commission. 


He was an ordained minister of the Church of North India (CNI) and considered as one of the most prominent and resourceful persons of the Church. The last conference he attended as a resource person was the International Dalit Conference held in New Delhi at the end of last year, which was organised by NCCI Commission on Dalits with support of CNI- SBSS/Christian Aid and EMW, Germany. The paper presented in the conference by Rev. Dr. Massey was: “The Role of the Church in Addressing Caste/Dalit Issue”. It was published in “Dappu”, the e-magazine of NCCI Commission on Dalits. This may have been among his last works.

NCCI gratefully acknowledges his leadership through work of its constituent members: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (ISPCK) and Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College (BTESSC). He served in ISPCK as General Secretary from 1985 – 1996, and as Secretary of BTESSC for two terms. He also served as Chairperson of NCCI’s Communications Unit for two terms from 1998 – 2004. Apart from his ecumenical contributions and work in connection with NCCI, he was the founding director of Centre for Dalit/ Minorities Studies (CDS) and Community Contextual Communication Centre. He also passionately worked for the betterment of people living in the slums of New Delhi, the dispossessed and the marginalized.

His life and work is very inspiring as he laboured untiringly towards real transformation in society with an essentially inclusive approach. We thank God for his life and ministry, vision and contribution. We share the grief of this great loss, and extend our heartfelt condolence to his wife, Mrs. Kala Massey, and daughters, Jyoti, Ujwala and Kiran. We pray for God’s peace and comfort to the bereaved family.

The funeral will be conducted on 4th March in New Delhi. His family members can be contacted on cellphone number 09868202265. 


NCCI Communications