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Chapter 4: Margins of Faith: Dalits and Tribal Christians in Eastern India
A discussion on the religious life of a society tends to assume that there are two types of religion: the ‘popular’ and the ‘elite’. Popular or folk religion is that of the masses, the pervasive beliefs, rituals and values of a society, whereas elite religion is that of the specialists, the learned or the clergy. Studies on the growth of Christianity in different cultural contexts have highlighted that Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, usually enmeshes with local cultures, appropriates local myths, compromises with local traditions and even borrows local beliefs and superstitions.
Most Christian communities in India have retained some or other of their pre-conversion culture and ...