This work, first published in 1980, breaks new ground as concerns caste in India. It first examines the nature of caste and its relation to Hinduism and questions in what sense it is possible to speak of Christianity as an egalitarian faith. It then considers some Hindu egalitarian movements and traces the development of ideas on caste among Christian missionaries, examining the relationship between these views and the Revolt of 1857. Close attention is given to changing attitudes on caste, both by missionaries and by Indian Christians, while the influence of nationalism on Christian attitudes to caste and other social questions is further examined. Finally, there is a review of the contemporary state of the question and of the specifically Christian contribution to modern views on caste.
1. Hierarchy, Equality and Religion 2. The Development of a Protestant Consensus on Caste, 1793-1850 3. The Revolt of 1857 and the Caste Question 4. Caste and the Mass Movements 5. Caste, Converts and the Kerala Christians 6. Indian Christians’ Attitudes to Caste in the Nineteenth Century 7. Liberal Missionary Attitudes to Caste 8. Hindu Responses to the Missionary Attack on Caste 9. Indian Christians’ Attitudes to Caste in the Twentieth Century 10. Conclusion