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Fr. Dr. V. P. Varghese

 Fr. Dr. Baby Varghese

Fr. Dr. Baby Varghese has been professor at the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam since 1985.  He is also professor of Syriac Studies at the St. Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute (SEERI) at Kottayam. Following a graduation in Science from the Kerala University in 1974, Fr. Baby Varghese began his theological education at the Orthodox Theological Seminary at Kottayam where he completed the Graduate in Sacred Theology (Diploma) and Bachelor in Divinity degree in 1978. He completed his Masters in Theology from the Catholic University, Paris in 1981 and Doctorate in Theology from Sorbonne, University of Paris in 1985. Following his Doctoral studies, he completed his Post-Doctoral studies from the Free University in Berlin, with Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship.

In 2004, Fr. Dr. Baby Varghese was awarded the Burke fellowship (Scholar-in-Residence) by the Union Theological Seminary, New York. In 2013, he was also awarded the ISM Fellowship and Visiting Professorship by the Yale University, USA. Fr. Varghese is also a member of the Forum Syracium of the Pro-Oriente Foundation, Vienna, Austria.


His principal areas of teaching are Syriac at preliminary and advanced levels, Liturgy Sacramental Theology, Ecclesiology and the History of Syriac Christianity at the M.Th. level. Fr. Dr. B. Varghese, along with Fr. Johns Abraham is the editor of the revised ‘Suriyani Basha Pravesika’, the most popular text in India for beginner and advanced level Syriac studies. He has also authored the following books:


Books, Publications and Articles written in English and other European Languages:


  • “Trois figures de l’église non-chalcédonienne “, Le Monde de la Bible 31 (Paris,   Nov-Dec., 1983), 44-45.
  • “Ecumenicity of a Synod and the acceptance of the Ecumenical Synods”, The Star of the East VII-4 (New Delhi, Dec., 1985), 11-19.
  • Les onctions baptismales dans la tradition syrienne, Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, Vol.512, Subsidia-82, Louvain, 1989 (pp.xxxiii+348)
  • “Meaning of Baptismal Anointings according to the West Syrian Liturgical Texts”, THE HARP II-1&2 (Kottayam, June, 1989), 21-30
  • “Saint James Liturgy: A Brief History of the Text “THE HARP II-3 (Dec.1989), 141-149.
  • “Royal Priesthood and the Ordained Ministry”, in K.M.THARAKAN (Ed), The Triune God Love, Justice, Peace, Festschrift Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, (Kottayam, 1989), 116-126.
  • Baptism and Chrismation in the Syriac Tradition, SEERI Correspondence Course on Syrian Church Heritage, No.8, Kottayam, 1990 (pp.74).
  • “Communion in the Mysteries”, The Star of the East XII-1& 2 (New Delhi, 1991), 14-21.
  • “West Syrian Anaphorae as an expression of the Trinitarian Doctrine”, THE HARP IV-1, 2 & 3 (1991), 215-223.
  • “Studies in the West Syrian Liturgy of the Consecration of the Holy Myron”, THE HARP VI-1 (April, 1993), 65-73.
  • «The Unknown Christ of Hinduism by Raimundo Panikkar : A New Approach in Inter-religious Dialogue, in DEEPTI : The Annual Publication of the   Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, 1993,  pp.25a-28b.
  • « Canonical Fasts in the West Syrian Tradition », THE HARP VIII-1,2 & 3 (Dec.1994), 89-108.
  • « East Syrian Liturgy as an expression of Christology » in Syriac Dialogue 2 : Second Non official Consultation on Dialogue within the Syriac Tradition, Pro-Oriente, (Vienna, 1996), 153-161 ; also in The Star of the East XVII,1-3 (1996), 51-64.
  • «  Ostsyrische Liturgie als Ausdruck der Christologie », in Heiliger Dienst 50( Salzburg, 1996), 232-240.
  • «  A Brief History of the Syriac Study Centres in the Malankara Church », THE HARP  X-1 & 2 (1997), 65-70.
  • « Holy Week Celebrations in the West Syrian Church », in Antonii Georgii KOLLAMPARAPIL (ed), Hebdomadae Sanctae Celebratio. Conspectus historicus Comparativus,  Edizioni Liturgiche, Bibliotheca Ephemerides Liturgicae, Subsidia, No.93, (Rome, 1997), 165-186.
  • « Daily Offices in the West Syrian Tradition », DEEPTHI : The Annual Publication of the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, 1997, pp.51a-58b.
  • « Early History of the Preparation Rites in the Syrian Orthodox Anaphorae » in Réné Lavenant (ed), Symposium Syriacum VII, Orientalia Christiana Analecta-256, (Rome, 1998), 127-138.
  • Dionysius Bar Salibi: Commentary on the Eucharist (Translated from Syriac with notes and introduction), Môrân ‘Ethô- 10, Kottayam, 1998.
  • “ 2000 years Experience of Living together of Hindus and Christians in India”, IN Die Realität der Inkarnation nach hinduistischer und christlicher Tradition: Inter-Religious Symposium,Regensburg 23-25 November 1988, (Regensburg, no date), 78-100 (Deutsche Kurzfassung, Ibid, pp. 100-106).
  • John of Dara: Commentary on the Eucharist (Translated from Syriac with Introduction and notes), Môrân ‘Ethô-12, Kottayam, 1999.
  • “ Some aspects of the Orthodox Ecclesiology”, in DEEPTHI , The Annual  Publication of the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, 1999, pp.56a -60b.

·         The Syriac Version of the Liturgy of Saint James. A Brief History for Students, Alcuin/GROW Joint Liturgical Studies 49, Grove Books, Cambridge, 2001.

·         “Some Aspects of the West Syrian Liturgical Theology”, Studia Liturgica 31 (2001), 171-178. [Also in Deepthi, The Annual Publication of the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, 2000, pp.29a-32b].

·         “Syriac Bible in India”, THE HARP XIV (2001), 63-80.

·         “Communion in the Mysteries”, In Xavier KOODAPUZHA & John PANICKER (ed.), Joint International Commission for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Malankara Orthodox Church: 1989-2000, (Kottayam, 2001), pp.113-120.

·         “Dimensions of Eucharistic Communion”, Ibid. pp.390-395.

·         “Apostolic Authority: Its Biblical, liturgical and Patristic basis”, Ibid. 500-510.

·         “Meaning of Communion”, Ibid. pp.561-566.

·         “West Syrian Worship”, in Paul F.Bradshaw (ed), The New SCM Dictionary of       Liturgy and Worship, SCM, London, 2002, pp.472-475.

·         “East Syrian Liturgy During the Sassanid Period”, THE HARP XV (2002) ,205-218.

·         “The Impact of the Synod of Diamper on the Faith and Liturgy of the St.Thomas Christians”, THE HARP XVI (2002), 151-158. (= Festschrift. Fr.Geevarghese Panicker)

·         “Holy Leaven (Comments on)” in Syriac Dialogue 5. Fifth Non-official Consultations on Dialogue within the Syriac Tradition, Pro-Oriente, (Vienna, 2003), 102-112.

·         “God as Love and Love of God in the West Syrian Liturgy and in the Hindu Bhakti Movement”, in  Dieu miséricorde. Dieu Amour. Actes du colloque VIII. Patrimoine syriaque Vol. I (CERO, Antelias, 2003), 217-233. [Paper presented at the Eighth Colloquium on Patrimoine syriaque. 3-6 April 2002, Antelias, Lebanon].

·         “The Impact of the Synod of Diamper on the Faith and Liturgy of the St Thomas Christians”, THE HARP XVI (2003), 151-158 [= Festschrift Fr.Geevarghese Panicker].

·         West Syrian Liturgical Theology, Ashgate, Aldershot, 2004.

·         “West Syrian Commentaries on the Eucharist. A Study of the Methodology”, Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 56 (2004), 271-292. [Paper presented at Symposium Syriacum VIII: 8th International Congress for Syriac Studies, 26 June- 1 July 2000, The University of Sydney, Australia].

·         “Liturgical Use of the Word rozo : A Preliminary Survey”,  IN  B.Burtea, T.Tropper & H.Younansardaroud (ed), Studia Semitica et Semitohamitica – Festschrift Rainer Voigt, (Münster, 2005), 425-432.

·         “Syriac Versions of Indian Stories”, In Les syriaques transmitteurs de civilisations. L’expérience du Bilâd el-shâm à l’époque omeyyade. Patrimoine syriaque. Actes du Colloque IX, CERO Antelias, 2005, pp.237-246. [Paper presented at the Ninth Colloquium on Patrimoine syriaque. 14-17 April, 2004, Damascus, Syria].

·         Dionysius Bar Salibi: Commentaries on Myron and Baptism, (Syriac text and English Translation), Môrân ‘Ethô-29, SEERI, Kottayam, 2006.

·         “George, Bishop of the Arabs: Homily on the consecration of Myron”, THE HARP XIX, 2006, pp.255-282 (Festschrift Prof.Dr.John Madey).

·         “The CMS Missionaries and the Malankara Church”, THE HARP XX, 2006, pp.399-446 (Festschrift Dr.Jacob Thekeparampil Vol.I).

·         “Origin of the Maphrianate of Tagrit”, THE HARP XX, 2006, 305-349 (Festschrift: Dr.Jacob Thekeparampil. Vol. II).

·         “Eucharist in the Syriac Acts of Judas Thomas”, THE HARP XXI, 2006, pp.239-250 (Festschrift Fr.Emmanuel Thelly). (Also in DEEPHI : Annual Publication of the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, 2006, pp.45a-47b.)

·         “Spirituality of Baptism: West Syrian Perspectives “Aikya Samiksha III/2, 2006, 47-60.

·         “Popular Devotions in the Malankara Orthodox Church”, Journal of St Thomas Christians (Rajkot, Gujarat), 17-4, Oct. Dec. 2006, 79-88.

·         “Structures des liturgies sacramentelles” IN  F.Cassingena-Trévedy & I.Juraz (ed), Les liturgies syriaques, (Etudes Syriaques 3), Paris. 2006, 145-172. [Paper read at the Table ronde November 2006, Paris].

·         “Peshitta New Testament Quotations in the West Syrian Anaphoras: Some General Observations”, IN Bas ter Haar Romeny (ed), The Peshitta: Its use in Literarure and Liturgy. Papers read at the Third Peshitta Symposium (Brill, Leiden, 2006), 379-389. [Paper read at the Third Peshitta Symposium, 12-15 August 20001, Leiden].

·         Abba Father. A Short Study of the Eastern Christian Worship, Kottayam, 2006 (Divyabodhanam Series -10), p.104.

·         “Saint Ephrem on the Fourth Century Funeral Rites”, in THE HARP XXII, 2007, 177-182.

·         “East Syrian Liturgy During the Sassanid Period”, IN A.Mustafa & J.Tubach (ed), Inkulturation des Christentums im Sanidenreich, (Wiesbaden, 2007), 269-280.  [Paper read at Symposium: Inculturation, May 1999, Leucorea, Lutherstadt Wittenberg].

·         “Anaphora of Saint James and Jacob of Edessa” IN R.Bas ter Haar Romeney (ed), Jacob of Edessa and the Syriac Culture of His Day, (E.J.Brill, Leiden, 2008), 239-264

·         “Prayers addressed to Christ in the West Syrian Tradition”, IN Brian D.SPINKS (ed), The Place of Christ in Liturgical Prayer. Trinity, Christology and liturgical Theology, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Mn, (2008), 88-111.[Paper presented at the Liturgy Conference held at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music , February 24-27, 2005].

·         ‘The Malankara Orthodox Church and its Missionary Works”, Aikya Samiksha V/2 (Oct. 2008), 59-70.

·         “ Importance of Anaphoras other than that of St James and their Theological Importance”,  IN John Berchmans & James Puthuparampil (ed), The Liturgy of St James: Its Impact on Theologizing in India, (Pune, 2009), 32-56.

·         “Moses Bar Kepha: Commentary on Baptism” (Syriac text edited with English translation), THE HARP XXIV (2009), 55-82 (Festschrift: Fr.Abraham Kalakudi).

·         “Church as worshipping Community: Liturgical Dimensions of Ecclesiology: in Mathai Kadavil, James Puthuparampil & George Thomas Kallunkal (ed), From Streams to Source. Essays on the Foundation of Malankara Theology, Pune, 2010, pp. 299- 306.

·         “Structure of the sacramental Celebrations. Syriac Tradition”, THE HARP XXV, 2010, 201-228.

·         “Renewal in the Malankara Orthodox Church, India”, in Alistair Kee (ed), Studies in World Christianity Volume 16, Part 3, (Edinburgh, 2010), 226-244.

·         “The Acts of Judas Thomas and Early Syriac Liturgy”, in Françoise Briquel Chatonnet & Muriel Debié, (ed), Sur les pas des Araméens chrétiens. Melanges offerts à Alain Desraeumaux, Paris, 2010, 77-94.

·         “Muslim-Christian Relationship on the Malabar Coast”, in Dietmar Winkler (ed), Syriac Churches Encountering Islam. Past Experiences and Future Perspectives, Gorgias Press, 2010, pp.158-169. [Paper presented at the First Pro-Oriente Colloquium Syriacum Salzburg, Nov. 14-16, 2007.

·         Prayers of the Great Lent (English translation of the Syriac text): MOC Publications, Kottayam January 2011; Second Edition September 2011). [pp.130].

·         Promioun-Sedro of the Holy Week, (English translation of the Syriac text), MOC Publications, Kottayam, 2011. [pp. 176]

·         Order of the Prayers of Good Friday, (English Translation of the Syriac text), MOC Publications, Kottayam, 2011. [pp.108].

·         Order of the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, [English translation of the Syriac text of five anaphoras], MOC Publications, Kottayam, 2011. [pp. 112].

  • Prayers of the Holy Week,  [English translation of the Syriac text], MOC Publications, Kottayam, 2011. [pp. 288].

·         “West Syriac Liturgy: One Hundred Years of Research”, IN THE HARP XXVII (2011), 53-72.

·         The Commentary of John of Dara. [Translated and Annotated by Baby Varghese], Gorgias Press, Piscataway, NJ. 2011 [pp.55] [American edition; first Indian edition, 1999].

·         The Commentary of Dionysius Bar Salibi on the Eucharist. Gorgias Press, Piscataway, NJ. 2011. [pp. 94]. [American Edition; first Indian Edition, 1998].

·         “Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church”, in Sebastian Brock et als (ed), Gorgias Encyplopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage, Gorgais Press, Piscataway, NJ., 2011, pp.256-58.

·         Prayers of the Nineveh Lent [English translation of the Syriac text], MOC Publications, Kottayam, 2012. [pp.125].

·         “Spirituality in Syro-Antiochean tradition”, IN Andrews Mekkattukunnel (ed), Mar Thoma Margam. The Ecclesial Heritage of the St Thomas Christians, Kottayam, 2012, pp.490-495.

·         “ Saint Ephrem and the early Syriac Liturgical Traditions”, in St VLADIMIR’S Theological Quarterly Vol. 56 -1 (2012), 17-49 “

·         [Paper presented at Colloque International Ephrem le Syrien. XVIIe centenaire de la naissance de Saint Ephrem, Ligugé, France, 7-9 June, 2006].

·         The Funeral Liturgy [English Translation of the Syriac text], MOC Publications, Kottayam, 2012.

·         Order of the Sacraments, [English translation of the Syriac text of Marriage, Baptism, Second Marriage, Anointing of the Sick and the Blessing of a house], MOC Publications, Kottayam, 2012.

·         Order of the Prayers of Major Feasts, MOC Publications, Kottayam, 2013.

·         “St. Peter in the West Syrian Liturgy” in Deepthi 2013, Orthodox Theological Seminary Kottayam, 2013. p57a-62b.


Important Publications in Malayalam

·         Abba Father: An Introduction to the Origin and Development of Christian Worship, Divyabhodhanam Publications, No.8, Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, pp. 140. [First edition Nov. 1985 [2000 copies] Second Edition, Nov. 1992 [pp.140:2000 copies; Third Edition, March 2001 [2000 copies]; Fourth Edition, March 2008 [3000 copies]; Fifth Edition, May 2012 [2000 copies].

·         “Syriac Baptismal Ordos”, in Purohithan III-1 (Kottayam, 1985), 20-25.

·         Biblical Basis of Chrismation,   Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, 1985 (pp.48); Second Edition in 1990.

·         “Exegesis of Psalm 23 in the Patristic Tradition”, Purohithan IV-3 (Kottayam, 1986), 40-44.

·         In Spirit and in Truth: A Study of the Eastern Worship, Divyabhodhanam Publications, No.18, Orthodox Theological Seminary, 1987, (pp.170).

·         “Sacraments and Biblical Typologies”, Purohithan V-1 (Kottayam, 1987), 23-29.