Singh, Sadhu Sundar
Name of creator(s): Singh | Sundar | 1889-1929 | Indian Christian 'sadhu'
Administrative/Biographical history: Sundar Singh: born in a Punjab village, 1889; of mixed Sikh and Hindu stock; his early dislike of Christianity resulted in a symbolic burning of the Bible; soon after followed a vision of Jesus Christ and he was baptized, 1905; determined to become a Christian sadhu (holy man); associated briefly with a semi-Franciscan brotherhood and attended an Anglican theological college for a few months, but had no formal church affiliations; travelled and preached in mountain regions from his centre at Kotgarh, c1910-c1916; wrote about the many hardships in the Urdu Christian press, his accounts forming the basis of books about him by Alfred Zahir, 1916, and Rebecca J Parker, 1918; began to travel abroad, 1918; visited Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and China; travelled to Europe, North America, and Australia, 1920; visited Europe again, 1922; following the publication of B H Streeter and A J Appasamy's The Sadhu (1921), Sundar Singh was identified as a living mystic and several more books were published about him; some people did not accept his accounts of his early adventures and his later years were dogged by controversy and ill health; set off to travel once more, 1929; his fate, and the circumstances of his death, are unknown.
Custodial history: The papers were deposited with the London Missionary Society by Rebecca Parker's son and form part of the special series of personal papers of individual LMS missionaries and officers.
Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited on permanent loan with the records of the London Missionary Society by the Congregational Council for World Mission (later Council for World Mission) in 1973.
CONTENT AND STRUCTURE
Scope and content/abstract: Letters, 1918-1929, of Sadhu Sundar Singh in India to Rebecca Parker, the subjects including his work and activities.
System of arrangement: Arranged chronologically.
ACCESS AND USE
Language: Romanised Hindustani (Urdu?) and English
Conditions governing access: Unrestricted.
Conditions governing reproduction: No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.
Finding aids: Unpublished handlist.
Related material: The School of Oriental and African Studies also holds records of the Conference of British Missionary Societies, International Missionary Council, including papers relating to Sadhu Sundar Singh, 1929-1930s (Ref: CBMS/H/PB6/71/46, CBMS/H/PB28/93/94, CBMS/H/PB52/117).
Copies: Published on microfiche by IDC Publishers.
Archivist's note: Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed Gerald H Anderson (1998), for Sundar Singh; LMS Register of Missionaries, ed James Sibree, for details of Rebecca Parker under her husband Arthur's entry; British Library OPAC, for her publications.
Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2002