This volume documents the ethnographies of regionally distinct Dalit and tribal Christian communities, raising new arguments pertaining to the autonomy and distinct identity of these communities in adverse social set-ups.

Stressing upon the plurality of identities, the essays reject the idea of determining these exclusively on the basis of religion. They also chart the multiple levels of marginality experienced by both Dalit and tribal Christians and analyze how these groups negotiate their former religious faith and practices with Christianity.

The book is a response to the urgent need for such studies in social science writings brought to the fore by contemporary political challenges and struggles facing these communities in various parts of India.

The Catholic Church and Dalit Christian Activism in Contemporary Tamil Nadu1

The Catholic Church and Dalit Christian Activism in Contemporary Tamil Nadu1

The Catholic church and Dalit Christian activism in contemporary Tamil Nadu


Today the Christian churches in Tamil Nadu publicly express a preference for Dalits, for Dalit perspectives, and Dalit theology. But Christian institutions have also long provided a context for the reproduction of caste inequality and discrimination. This chapter takes a look at the relationship between Christianity and caste society in the context of contemporary Dalit activism in Tamil Nadu. It examines some of the many strands of social critique and conservatism among Christian clergy, and the implications for Christian Dalits and wider Dalit politics in the state. My focus will be on Roman Catholics who comprise by far the largest and oldest group of ...

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