Christian Identity and Dalit Religion in Hindu India, 1868-1947

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2008 - History - 276 pages
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When a form of Christianity from one corner of the world encounters the religion and culture of another, new and distinctive forms of the faith result. In this volume Chad Bauman considers one such cultural context -- colonial Chhattisgarh in north central India. In his study Bauman focuses on the interaction of three groups: Hindus from the low-caste Satnami community, Satnami converts to Christianity, and the American missionaries who worked with them. Informed by archival snooping and ethnographic fieldwork, the book reveals the emergence of a unique Satnami-Christian identity. As Bauman shows, preexisting structures of thought, belief, behavior, and more altered this emerging identity in significant ways, thereby creating a distinct regional Christianity.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chhattisgarh the Satnamis and SatnamiChristians
8
Plan of the Book
15
Methodological Notes
20
Broader Issues
28
Contextualizing the Study
31
Chhattisgarhi Religiosity
34
The Satnampanth
41
Christian Medicine as Strong Magic
152
Interpreting the Signs
158
Christian Womanhood
167
Weddings Widows and Divorce
173
Womens Education and Professionalization
180
Christianization as Sanskritization?
187
Conclusion
188
Satnami and Christian Stories Human Recapitulations of a Social Transformation
191

Satnamis and Sanskritization in the Twentieth Century
53
The Origins of Christianity in Chhattisgarh
59
Factors in Becoming or Not Becoming Christian
71
Famine Misfortune and the Economics of Conversion
76
Health Healing and Leaving Ones Religion
88
Christianization and Social Status
89
Religion as Social Vision
94
On Not Becoming Christian
98
The Myth of History and the History of Myth
101
Tattoos and Other Embarrassing Reminders of a Satnami Past
105
Inventive Converts Mythologizing Missionaries and the Story of Guru Ghasidas
106
A Voice Calling in the Wilderness
114
M M Pauls SatyanmI Panth
117
Conclusion
124
Allopathic Medicine and the Allure of Efficacy
133
Medicine Health and Hygiene
136
Medical Itineration and the Allure of Efficacy
144
Doctor Hira Lal
192
Simon Drastahin Simon the Sightless
200
Tularam Paul
212
Ratiram
218
Beni Madhav
221
Conclusion
224
Conclusion
227
Chhattisgarhi Christianity in the PostIndependence Era
231
The Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry
232
The Destruction of Gass Memorial Centre
237
Conclusion
240
Charts and Statistics
245
Glossary
251
Works Cited
255
Index
270
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About the author (2008)

Chad M. Bauman is assistant professor of religion at Butler University, Indianapolis.

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