Published by Routledge
Commonly known as Dalits, or Untouchables, Paraiyar Christians are a large socially marginalised group living in India within a dynamic and complex social matrix dominated by the caste system. This book presents a detailed exploration of Paraiyar communities, focusing on their religious and cultural identity and examining their worldview within the dominant 'Hindu' religious worldview. Exploring Dalits' wider social context and boundaries, ascribed and achieved identity, and the use of religious symbolism and ritual, this book highlights various tensions and areas of creativity among Paraiyar Christians and how they negotiate their lives within a hierarchical system. Anderson Jeremiah argues that the category 'religion' is inadequate, and he sheds light on the complexity of religious belief in marginalised indigenous communities. This inter-disciplinary, socio-ethonographic study of Dalit Christian community presents a significant anthropological study of Christianity as it is lived out in the grass roots of a marginalised society.
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Anderson H.M. Jeremiah is the Lecturer in World Christianity, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University. He earned his doctorate from New College, Edinburgh University, specialising in the field of World Christianity. He is an Episcopal Priest from South India.