HEUMAN, Ernst Otto August

HEUMAN, Ernst Otto August. Halmstad 9.7.1858 — Trichinopoly (Tiruchirappalli) 25.8.1926. Swedish Missionary and Scholar of Religion and Languages in India. Son of alderman Anders Gustaf H. and Christina Margareta Theolander. From 1877 studies of classical philology and Semitics at Uppsala, fil.kand. 1880, fil.lic. 1886. After a few years as schoolteacher in Uppsala he, as a deeply religious man, joined as layman the Scandinavian Santal Mission and worked in 1886-98 in India as teacher. In 1898 he was ordained by the Danish missionary Børresen (his father-in-law) and as this ordination was not accepted by Swedish Church, came in 1899 to Sweden to have it confirmed. This, however, annoyed Børresen and Skrefsrud to the extent that he was dismissed from the mission. After a few years as vicar in Gottland in 1900-03, he joined the Lutheran Tamil Mission of Swedish Church and became the Principal of its school in Pudukkottai, in 1904-12. From 1916 he was the head of the mission and from 1921 the first Bishop of the now independent Lutheran Tamil Church. Hon. Ph.D. 1894 Copenhagen. Hon. Dr.Theol. 1917 Uppsala. Married in 1889 with Katharina Elisabeth Børresen (1866–1933).

Prompted by Skrefsrud EH started immediately after his coming to India the study of Santali and wrote its grammar. The work was favourably received by Thomsen who arranged its publication and reviewed it in English. EH was also a friend of Söderblom and contributed translations from Sanskrit and Pāli to his anthology of original texts of religions.

Publications: “Grammatisk studie öfver santal-språket”, Oversigt Kong.Vid.Selsk.Forh. 1892, 148-230 & sep.; “Om santalfolket och dess nuvarande hemland”, Ymer 12, 1892, 153-186.

A Santali translation of the Gospels. 1892.

Translated some Tamil selections in N. Söderblom (ed.), Främmande Religionsurkunder. 2, 1907, 635-656.

Sources: *G. Brundin, E.H., biskop av Tranquebar. 1926; B. Sundkler, Sv. Biogr. Lex. 18, 1969-71, 765-767 with photo; Swedish Wikipedia; photo also in geni.com. The short biography in http://gaebler.info/india/leipziger_indienmissionare-2.htm contains serious defects and is thus misleading.

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