The South Asian Christian diaspora is largely invisible in the literature about religion and migration. This is the first comprehensive study of South Asian Christians living in Europe and North America, presenting the main features of these diasporas, their community histories and their religious practices. The South Asian Christian diaspora is pluralistic both in terms of religious adherence, cultural tradition and geographical areas of origin. This book gives justice to such pluralism and presents a multiplicity of cultures and traditions typical of the South Asian Christian diaspora. Issues such as the institutionalization of the religious traditions in new countries, identity, the paradox of belonging both to a minority immigrant group and a majority religion, the social functions of rituals, attitudes to language, generational transfer, and marriage and family life, are all discussed.
Knut A. Jacobsen is the author or editor of 15 books and more than 60 academic articles, such as the books South Asian Religions on Display: Religious Processions in South Asia and in the Diaspora (London: Routledge 2008); Sikhismen: Historie, tradisjon og kultur (Kristiansand: Norwegian Academic Press, 2006); Theory and Practice of Yoga: Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson (Leiden: Brill, 2005); South Asians in the Diaspora: Histories and Religious Traditions, co-edited with P. Pratap Kumar (Leiden: Brill, 2004); Hinduismen (Oslo: Pax, 2003); and Prakrti in Samkhya-Yoga: Material Principle, Religious Experience, Ethical Implications (New York: Peter Lang, 1999). He has a Ph. D. from the Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) from 1994. His professional interests include Hinduism, Yoga, Sikhism, Diaspora Studies, Religious Pluralism and Pilgrimage Studies. Selva J. Raj has edited two books, Dealing with Deities: The Ritual Vow in South Asia, co-edited with William P. Harman (Albany, NY: Suny Press, 2006); and Popular Christianity In India: Riting Between The Lines, co-edited with Corinne G. Dempsey (Albany, NY: Suny Press, 2002). Miracle As Modern Conundrum In South Asian Religious Traditions, co-edited with Corinne G. Dempsey, is forthcoming (Suny Press). He has published a number of articles. His Ph.D. is from The University of Chicago in the History of Religion from 1994. Professional interests include Hinduism, Buddhism, The Feminine in World Religions and Global Christianities. He has been given a number of academic honours and awards. Sadly Selva Raj died in March 2008.
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'The need for this book on South Asian Christians in the diaspora is long overdue. This is a very valuable source of information for anyone who wishes to draw some general conclusions about Indian Christians in the diaspora.' Paul Younger, McMaster University, Canada The editors have produced a landmark study on a neglected but important subject. A new trend has been set on the basis of impressive scholarship that will create deeper understanding of social, religious and cultural diasporic identity. Julius Lipner, University of Cambridge, UK ’Jacobsen and Raj’s volume is certainly a timely and very welcome contribution to the increasingly diversified scene of contemporary diasporic studies. The book abounds with well researched and thoroughly reflected insights into the diversity of South Asian Christian ways of life in the Western diaspora.’ South Asian Diaspora ’Overall, if the goal of this volume is to make visible an ’invisible’ diaspora, it has decidedly met its goal. Chapters can be combined in a number of ways to highlight a series of issues within South Asian Christian diaspora dynamics. The volume is suitable for upper-level undergraduate courses or for graduate courses on South Asian diaspora and South Asian Christian diaspora.’ Journal of Intercultural Studies 'This exceptionally insightful compendium of essays sheds light on the heterogeneity of the South Asian Christian Diaspora, emphasising the significance of religion in their immigrant experience, which has remained invisible. ... The volume is a significant contribution to the field of South Asian Studies, Christianity, Hindu-Christian Studies, as well as Contemporary South Asian Religions. ... this study draws attention to an understudied area in South Asian Diaspora studies and reinforces the centrality of religion and the importance of further research into diverse diasporic experiences.' Contemporary South Asia '...an effective introduction to the emerging field of Christian