Dandoy, George

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Important figure in the Catholic press of India; b. Hemptinne, Belgium, Feb. 5, 1882; d. Calcutta, India, June 11, 1962. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1899, and graduated from Oxford University (1909) in Sanskrit and Indian philosophy in preparation for missionary work in Bengal, India, where he arrived the same year. Ordained in 1914, he taught theology at St. Mary's College, Kurseong, until 1922 when he went to Calcutta and launched the Light of the East, a monthly magazine. An editorial of September 1924 enunciated the guiding principles of the publication:

We have no intention of attacking Hinduism or any other religion. All we wish to do is to expose our own religion, propose its proofs, manifest its beauty, and show how well it answers the deepest longings of the Indian heart, and solves the eternal problems of the Indian intelligence.

Although the Light of the East failed to build the circulation it desired among a non-Christian intelligentsia (it was 3,000 at its highest), it was still a notable achievement in the history of the Catholic press in India. It exerted a lasting influence on missionary thought and method; from it the clergy learned to give Eastern religions and mentality the respect, sympathy, and serious study they merit. Even those who did not subscribe wholeheartedly to its policy caught its spirit of avoiding harsh polemics or an un-Christian arrogance toward non-Christian religions. Publication was suspended in 1946.

From 1946 to 1962, Dandoy was stationed at St. Xavier's College, Calcutta, lecturing in apologetics; his pioneer work has been carried on in a modified form by the publication of The Light of the East series of apologetic works in English and Bengali.

[h. rozario]