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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/struggles facing these communities in various parts of India.
The book begins with the detailed and insightful introduction by Rowena Robinson and Joseph Marianus Kujur. In a very useful way, it puts the individual contributions in a proper perspective. It successfully points out to the generalities running through the articles. The chapters in the book are largely based on the original fieldwork and are sort of ethnographic accounts combining the perspectives of anthropology, history and political sociology.... this research study is a useful contribution to the field of social science writings... It is a much-needed significant response to the struggles and challenges presently facing the tribal and Dalit Christians in the country.
This commendable endeavour by the scholars to perceive dalit theology that has emerged as the need of the hour, and stands by its distinctiveness and creativity is of a remarkably high order. This is a highly technical work extremely rewarding for all its readers.
(The Book Review)
About the Author
Joseph Marianus Kujur had his MA in Anthropology from Pune University. He has worked on the theme of religious conversion and tribal identity for his doctorate from the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. He was on the staff of Jnana- Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, for a few years teaching 'Tribal Thought' and 'Anthropology' to the students of Philosophy. He also taught 'Tribal Religions' at the Regional Theological Centres in Ranchi and Patna. For the last five years he headed the Department of Tribal & Dalit Studies at Indian Social Institute, New Delhi. He has to his credit five co-edited books and more than thirty research papers in national and international journals and edited volumes. At present he is a Visiting Researcher at the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), Georgetown University, Washington D.C. and is engaged in a comparative study of the identity formation of the two groups of indigenous peoples in the post-colonial period--one in India and the other in Bolivia.