At the start of the eighteenth century Lutheranism left Europe for the first time. Pietists from Halle played a decisive role in its overseas dissemination and thus, two centuries after the Reformation, fulfilled one of Martin Luther’s important goals.
In 1706, with little luggage and medication only for the most common diseases, Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg (1682–1719) boarded a ship in London. Together with his colleague Heinrich Plütschau (1677–1752) he set off for Tranquebar on the South Indian coast. They carried with them a letter written by the Danish king Fredrick IV. He had dispatched the two theologians, who were pupils of Francke, to establish a mission station within the Danish trading colony.
Jasmin Eppert checked in her luggage for Tranquebar 310 years later. On behalf of the Francke Foundations, the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC), and the missionary societies of Leipzig and Hermannsburg, she will establish a museum dedicated to the history of the intercultural dialogue between India and Europe during the next three years. This dialogue began with Ziegenbalg’s and Plütschau’s arrival more than three centuries ago. The premises are to be renovated in cooperation with local partners.
Step by Step towards a vibrant Museum
Since 125 days, I am back in India as an employee of the Evangelical Lutheran Missionary Work in Lower Saxony (ELM). I can finally report on the ceremonial inauguration, the start of the construction work, and the energetic progress of our project on the Ziegenbalg residence in the South Indian town of Tharangambadi" (Jasmin Eppert, August 2016).
Like the missionaries of the Danish-Halle Mission, Jasmin Eppert keeps those at home informed by facebook and by means of regular letters describing the progress of the project (Cicular of August 2016(PDF, 1,3 MB) in german) and her life in South India (Cicular of September 2016(PDF, 1,0 MB) | October 2017(PDF, 2,2 MB) | November 2017(PDF, 1,1 MB) in german). Ever since her festive send-off on 20 March 2016 a lot has happened!
Film Project Accompanying the Renovation
En route between Burgkirchen, Halle and Tranquebar the documentary filmmaker and photographer Heiner Heine captures the major steps of the museum project. In the course of the three-year project he documents with his camera the renovation as well as Jasmin Eppert’s work and the progres. During his first journey in June and July 2016, interviews were conducted with friends and supporters of the project.
Mission Thanksgiving Day 2016 - Inauguration of the museum project
The project to renovate the former Ziegenbalg residential house is supported by: