THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Veteran Christian social reformer and former faculty in economics at Kerala University, Joseph Pulikunnel, passed away on Thursday. He was 85.
The burial will be take place at his houses premises at Bharananganam, Kottayam on Friday at 11 am instead of Church, in accordance with his wishes.
He was the director of the Indian Institute of Christian Studies in Kottayam and has authored several books. He was the organising editor of the Malayalam Bible Translation Project and has published translation of the Bible in Malayalam considered most authentic.
Since 1976 he had been pursuing his interests in social work and founded several social service organizations including the Good Samaritan Project India; the Word and Deed Hospital and Palliative Cancer Care Centre, and a Juvenile Diabetic Centre. He is best known for his independent and scholarly views on the state of the established church in India.
He is notable for challenging the aristocratic authority of priesthood of Catholic church and was vehemently opposed to their dominance in his speeches and books.
Having taken Honours degree in economics from Madras Presidency College, he worked as a teacher in Kozhikode Devagiri College, where he was nearly dismissed for controversial views.
The Magazine Oshana he started in 1975 aimed at criticism of churches. Prof Joseph Mundassery had launched the magazine from a rented room at Pala
He organised marriages and burials that caught in ecclesiastic red tapism. When his wife Kochu Rani died in 2008, he cremated her body at his own land at Edamattam.
In his will he wrote that his own cremation should be done beside her.