Theologian-author sets Limca record
Oct. 7, 2013
Catholic theologian and author Doctor Felix Podimattam created history when Limca Book of Records accepted him on Oct. 4 as the person who has authored most number of books on moral theology in the world. Podimattam has written 135 books in his four-decade long teaching and theologizing career on varying moral subjects such as celibacy to sex and artificial insemination to euthanasia, said a press release from his publisher, the New Delhi based Media House.
"It is now official that no one in the world has written books on such varied aspects of the same subject and in such a prolific manner," said Father Baiju Chalackal, Media House director. Podimattam is one of the best-known Indian authors in the field of ethics and morality. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Mysore, a Licentiate degree in Theology from Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome and a Doctoral degree in Moral Theology from the Alphonsian Academy, Rome. His doctoral thesis ‘The Relativity of Natural Law’ is acclaimed as exceptionally excellent. The thesis was guided by the eminent moral theologian, Bernard Haering, who influenced the renewal of moral teachings of the Church during and after the Vatican II.
Chalackal said his books are a hit in the market. The most significant characteristics of his writings is that he engages in a creative dialogue with other authors on every topic of discussion. He also tries to compare and integrate, as far as possible, the visions and views of other religions. Podimattam's response was modest. “I am happy that such a thing has taken place. I don’t think that this recognition comes to me. It is a recognition to my readers and I dedicate this to the young people who are the future of the Church and the society,” he said.
Born in Kerala In 1934, Podimattom joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins as a teenager and was ordained a priest for this Catholic religious order at the age of 26. Podimattam currently teaches at St. Francis Theological College, Kottayam. His books hold "a very positive attitude to life in general, especially to human body, sexuality, and he is a keen observer of the socio-political and religious happenings in the society and responds to them immediately," Chalackal said. He has taken keen interest on rights and equality of women in the Church and society. In the context of widespread discrimination against women in the Church and society, he published a six-volume work titled: ‘In praise of the woman’. He has written on the life and mission of priesthood and Religious life. In fact he has a five-volume sequel on Religious life. Another landmark contribution is the 10-volume set on bio-medical ethics. His books in general emphasize the sacredness of life in all its forms, and that can be seen particularly in books on topics like abortion and euthanasia. His writings show a harmonious blending of the traditional wisdom with its emphasis on fundamental Christian values as well as the findings of modern sciences like psychology, sociology and anthropology.
His colleague and confrere Father Mathew Paikada said the author's latest contribution, which may be acclaimed as his masterpiece, is “The Ten Commandments in the Law of Christ”, a 20-volume work on the Decalogue. "His vast knowledge on the subject gained through painstaking research, his teaching experience in various theological institutes stretching out over four decades and frank discussions with eminent thinkers have gone into this work," Paikada said.
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