Constructing Indian Christianities: Culture, Conversion and Caste (Hardback) book cover

Constructing Indian Christianities

Culture, Conversion and Caste

Edited by Chad M. Bauman, Richard Fox Young

Routledge India

288 pages

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Hardback: 9781138020184
pub: 2014-06-03
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This volume offers insights into the current ‘public-square’ debates on Indian Christianity. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork as well as rigorous analyses, it discusses the myriad histories of Christianity in India, its everyday practice and contestations and the process of its indigenisation. It addresses complex and pertinent themes such as Dalit Indian Christianity, diasporic nationalism and conversion. The work will interest scholars and researchers of religious studies, Dalit and subaltern studies, modern Indian history, and politics.


‘[R]eveals tantalizing possibilities for the study of South Asian Christianities to contribute to, even rethink or reshape, any number of contemporary conversations in the study of religion and the humanities more broadly.’ — Anne E. Monius, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

‘[E]vidences that the question regarding how any religion — particularly Christianity — can, in Peter Beyer’s words, ‘be thought of or lived as a singular identity’ across the globe is being taken very seriously.’ — Rowena Robinson, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

"Constructing Indian Christianities is a volume

that has much to teach specialists and nonspecialists

alike. Among its many distinguishing

qualities, the most salutary aspect of the volume

is how the essays collectively foreground Dalit

experiences and concerns."

Mathew N. Schmalz, The College of the Holy Cross

Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies, Vol. 30 [2018], Art. 21

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements.Introduction Chad M. Bauman and Richard Fox Young.Part 1. Who and What is an Indian Christian? 1. Godparents and the Mother’s Brother: ‘Spiritual’ Parenthood among the Latin Catholics of Kerala, South India Miriam Benteler 2. Between Christian and Hindu: Khrist Bhaktas, Catholics and the Negotiation of Devotion in the Banaras Region Kerry P. C. San Chirico 3.Interlocking Caste with Congregation: A Political Necessity for Dalit Christians in Andhra, South India? Ashok Kumar M. Part 2. Whose Religion is Indian Christianity?4.Late 16th- and Early 17th-Century Contestations of Catholic Christianity at the Mughal Court Gulfishan Khan 5. Authority, Patronage and Customary Practices: Protestant Devotion and the Development of the Tamil Hymn in Colonial South India Hephzibah Israel 6.From Christian Ashrams to Dalit Theology — or Beyond? An Examination of the Indigenisation/Inculturation Trend within the Indian Catholic Church Xavier Gravend-Tirole 7. Taking the Cross and Walking from Subalternity to Modernity James Ponniah Part 3.Can Christianity be Indian? 8. Times of Trouble for Christians in Hindu and Muslim Societies of South Asia Georg Pfeffer 9. The Interreligious Riot as a Cultural System: Globalisation, Geertz and Hindu–Christian Conflict Chad M. Bauman 10. Studied Silences? Diasporic Nationalism, ‘Kshatriya Intellectuals’ and the Hindu American Critique of Dalit Christianity’s Indianness Richard Fox Young and Sundar John Boopalan. Afterword I Anne E. Monius. Afterword II Rowena Robinson.

About the Editors

Chad M. Bauman is Associate Professor of Religion, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Butler University, Indianapolis.

Richard Fox Young is Timby Associate Professor, History of Religions, Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Christianity / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology of Religion