Pontifical Athenaeum: Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK)
The stages of the growth of Dharmaram College very clearly reveal that attention was paid simultaneously to its material, spiritual, and academic aspects. Already in 1965 the College was affiliated to the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and 11 years later, in 1976, the Congregation for Catholic Education by its Decree, “Nobilissimae Indiarum Gentes,” erected in it the Faculty of Theology as an independent Institute with rights to confer the Bachelor’s and Licentiate degrees in Theology and the Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. Early in 1971, Dharmaram College had instituted a Centre for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) in order to implement and establish the directives of Vatican II concerning inter-religious dialogue in the context of India’s religious pluralism. In furtherance of this objective, the same Centre, in 1975, started the publication of Journal of Dharma (Dharmaram Journal of Religions and Philosophies), in order to foster and enhance researches in the fields of dialogue and ecumenism and to contribute to the formulation and development of indigeneous Christian philosophy and theology. In recognition of the merits and the significant progress Dharmaram Pontifical Institute made in seven years, the same Congregation by its decree “Antiquissima Indorum Philosophica,” on 8 December 1983 constituted also a Faculty of Philosophy, empowering it to award Licentiate and doctoral degrees in Philosophy. In the year 1983, Darsana Institute of Philosophy at Wardha was started as the CMI Mission Philosophate with three basic orientations: Missionary, Indian, and Rural. It works as an extension centre of Dharmaram imparting academic training leading to the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy (BPh). In the Statutes approved by the Congregation for the Catholic Education on 7 November 1986, the Athenaeum was re-christened as Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK) meaning the Temple of Wisdom in the Garden of Dharma. Samanvaya Theological College was started in 1994 as an extension centre of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, offering courses leading to the Bachelor of Theology (BTh) degree. Samanvaya (literally meaning ‘Integration’) envisions a theological training programme focusing on the Church’s evangelizing mission in the northern parts of India. The signs of the times challenge us to delineate a new vision and approach in the formation of today’s missionaries. Four philosophical and theological institutes are affiliated to DVK.