Popular Christianity in India: Riting between the Lines

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Selva J. Raj, Corinne G. Dempsey
SUNY Press, Oct 24, 2002 - Religion - 284 pages
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Popular Christianity in India explores Indian Christianity as crafted and expressed through lived experience, providing an important balance to currently available, typically theological, studies. Drawing from many disciplines, this volume unearths the multifaceted terrain of festivals, rituals, saints, miracle workers, missionaries, and visionaries in Christian India, providing a wonderful glimpse of its richness and complexities. The contributors reveal the ways in which local Christian traditions deftly challenge assumed divisions and power imbalances between East and West, Hindu and Christian, foreign and indigenous, and elite and local expressions. Whether forging complicated religious, caste, and national identities, employing religious hybridity to promote well-being, or asserting autonomy within oppressive social and religious structures, local Christianity provides a crucial means for its participants to manage their earthly needs and desires.
  

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Contents

Introduction Between Behind and Beyond the Lines
1
Chariots of the Gods Riding the Line Between Hindu and Christian
11
The Ganges The Jordan and the Mountain The Three Strands of Santal Popular Catholicism
39
Past Selves and Present Others The Ritual Construction of Identity at a Catholic Festival in India
61
Transgressing Boundaries Transcending Turner The Pilgrimage Tradition at the Shrine of St John de Britto
85
Lessons in Miracles from Kerala South India Stories of Three Christian Saints
115
Finding a Path in Others Worlds The Challenge of Exorcism
141
Charismatic Transgressions The Life and Work of an Indian Catholic Healer
163
Redemptive Hegemony and the Ritualization of Reading
191
Missionary Strategy and the Development of the Christian Community Delhi 18591884
211
Dalit Theology in Tamil Christian Folk Music A Transformative Liturgy By James Theophilus Appavoo
233
Afterword Diverse Hindu Responses to Diverse Christianities in India
255
Contributors
269
Index
273
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About the author (2002)

Selva J. Raj, Chair and Associate Professor of Religious Studies, is the Stanley S. Kresge Professor of Religious Studies at Albion College.

Corinne G. Dempsey is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the author of Kerala Christian Sainthood: Collisions of Culture and Worldview in South India.

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