Book

Religious Transformation in South Asia

Christopher Harding

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548224
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720697 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548224.001.0001

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

Religious Transformation in South Asia

Show Summary Details

Preview

This book investigates mass conversion movements towards Christianity in late colonial India, examining the internal dynamics of conversion and Christian community-building in the region of Punjab. It follows the tempestuous local relationships which lay at the heart of religious transformation, from tensions both within and between the missions of the (Catholic) Belgian Capuchins and (British Evangelical) Church Missionary Society to the incompatibilities of aspiration where oppressed rural low-caste — so-called ‘Chuhra’ — converts, as well as mission personnel and institutions, were concerned. The book explores the role of social class, theological training, culture, motivation, and personality in producing a wide range of presentations of ‘Christianity’ in Punjab. For European missionary personnel the meaning of conversion quickly took on a heavy social dimension, thanks to connections made in missionary minds between Punjabi converts and the rural and urban poor of Belgium and Britain. As a result, European ‘uplift’ campaigns which sought to clean up and manage closely the lives of the poor — insulating them from hostile political and alternative religious influences — fed into attempts in Punjab to build new Christian communities and to socialize the next generation. Nowhere was this more obvious than in the brand new ‘Christian villages’ established by the Capuchins and the CMS. Punjabi perspectives explored and discussed range from the thankless, but potentially pivotal work of catechists and other agents of the mission, to the social networks and aspects of everyday life through which low-caste Punjabis communicated and sought to live by their understanding of conversion. The socio-political dimension here was clear, amounting to a brand of subaltern consciousness rarely considered by mainstream South Asian historiography.

Keywords: mass movements; Belgium; Capuchin; Church Missionary Society; CMS; conversion; catechist; agency; Christian village; Punjab

Book.  320 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »


Table of Contents

Introduction in Religious Transformation in South Asia

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

The Meaning of Uplift in Punjab in Religious Transformation in South Asia

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

British Evangelicals vs Belgian Catholics in Religious Transformation in South Asia

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

The Communication of Christianity in Religious Transformation in South Asia

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Living in New Traditions in Religious Transformation in South Asia

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Visions of the Future in Religious Transformation in South Asia

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Conclusion in Religious Transformation in South Asia

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.