Photocopy. Doctoral thesis: 'The extent and areas of the Indian/Hindu influence on the ideas and development of Toba Batak religion, and its implication for the Christianization of the Toba Batak people of North Sumatra. (A thesis presented to the Senate of Serampore College, for the degree of Doctor of Theology, 1975), by Harry Parkin. Reproduced from typescript. Pp.(ix), 456, (xi), maps. 30 cm., board bound.

Scope and Content

From the Abstract:

'This study has grown out of the lecture room experience of teaching Batak Religion and Batak Culture to theological students in Universitas H.K.B.P. Nommensen, Padang Siantar, North Sumatra. It started in the process of orientation to a new field of work: when I started to learn about the history and culture of the Batak peoples, there was the strange sense of being in a completely new geographical location, but of knowing the position and nature of the landmarks. More was involved than the general relationship between 'Mother India' and the 'India of the Islands'. At several salient points of Toba Batak religion, what had been experienced and learned of Hinduism in Mysore at an earlier period of service was very relevant. More than co-incidence was necessary to explain the similarities.


1) Introduction: Batakland. The Batak. Tribal areas. Primacy of the Toba Batak. Migration. Origin of the Batak people. Batak religion. Christianization of the Toba Batak. p.1

2) The problem stated: Cultural context. Diversity of opinion. Inhibiting factors. p.38

3) Indianization: Evidence of Indianization in Sumatra. The nature and character of Indianization. The agents of Indianization. The reaction of autochthonous culture. p.67

4) Hindu - Buddhist presence in Batakland: Batak megalith and sarcophagus culture. The Hindu kingdom of Tanah Jawa in Simalungun. Simangambat Ganesha. p.114

5) The Batak script: Indian origin. Development. The use of the Batak script. p.153

6) Toba Batak vocabulary: Table of 200 Sanskrit derivatives in Toba Batak. Classification. Analysis. p. 166

7) Toba Batak religion: The tondi cult. The Deities. Text and translation of Leiden Codex Or. 3402. p. 235

8) Magic and divination: Desa na ualu. Bindu matoga. Siva yantra. p. 326

9) Magic: calendar and astrology: Batak horary divination. p. 356

10) The cosmic tree and Batak society: The Indian concept of the cosmic tree. The Batak cosmic tree, Hariara Jambu Barus. Its mythological context. Secondary similarities of cosmological interest. p.382

11) Conclusions and implications: The extent of Hinduism. The implications of Hinduization for Christianity. Accommodation and syncretism. Contextualization for the Toba Batak Church. p. 411

Bibliography: 170 items. pages 458-467

Note: An edited version of Dr. Parkin's thesis was published as: `Batak fruit of Hindu thought'. (Christian Literature Society: Madras, 1978).

This item has not been deposited with the archives, though what appears to be a partial version can be found at U DPN/45

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