converting women gender and protestant christianity in colonial south india

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Converting Women

Author : Eliza F. Kent
ISBN : 0198036957
Genre : Religion
File Size : 54. 90 MB
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With the emergence of Hindu nationalism, the conversion of Indians to Christianity has become a volatile issue, erupting in violence against converts and missionaries. At the height of British colonialism, however, conversion was a path to upward mobility for low-castes and untouchables, especially in the Tamil-speaking south of India. In this book, Eliza F. Kent takes a fresh look at these conversions, focusing especially on the experience of women converts and the ways in which conversion transformed gender roles and expectations. Kent argues that the creation of a new, "respectable" community identity was central to the conversion process for the agricultural laborers and artisans who embraced Protestant Christianity under British rule. At the same time, she shows, this new identity was informed as much by elite Sanskritic customs and ideologies as by Western Christian discourse. Stigmatized by the dominant castes for their ritually polluting occupations and relaxed rules governing kinship and marriage, low-caste converts sought to validate their new higher-status identity in part by the reform of gender relations. These reforms affected ideals of femininity and masculinity in the areas of marriage, domesticity, and dress. By the creation of a "discourse of respectability," says Kent, Tamil Christians hoped to counter the cultural justifications for their social, economic, and sexual exploitation at the hands of high-caste landowners and village elites. Kent's focus on the interactions between Western women missionaries and the Indian Christian women not only adds depth to our understanding of colonial and patriarchal power dynamics, but to the intricacies of conversion itself. Posing an important challenge to normative notions of conversion as a privatized, individual moment in time, Kent's study takes into consideration the ways that public behavior, social status, and the transformation of everyday life inform religious conversion.

Converting Women

Author : Eliza F. Kent
ISBN : 9780195165074
Genre : Science
File Size : 68. 79 MB
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At the height of British colonialism, conversion to Christianity was a path to upward mobility for Indian low-castes and untouchables, especially in the Tamil-speaking south of India. Kent examines these conversions, focusing especially on the experience of women converts and the ways in which conversion transformed gender roles and expectations.

Converting Women

Author : Eliza F. Kent
ISBN : 9780190290047
Genre : Religion
File Size : 79. 60 MB
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With the emergence of Hindu nationalism, the conversion of Indians to Christianity has become a volatile issue, erupting in violence against converts and missionaries. At the height of British colonialism, however, conversion was a path to upward mobility for low-castes and untouchables, especially in the Tamil-speaking south of India. In this book, Eliza F. Kent takes a fresh look at these conversions, focusing especially on the experience of women converts and the ways in which conversion transformed gender roles and expectations. Kent argues that the creation of a new, "respectable" community identity was central to the conversion process for the agricultural laborers and artisans who embraced Protestant Christianity under British rule. At the same time, she shows, this new identity was informed as much by elite Sanskritic customs and ideologies as by Western Christian discourse. Stigmatized by the dominant castes for their ritually polluting occupations and relaxed rules governing kinship and marriage, low-caste converts sought to validate their new higher-status identity in part by the reform of gender relations. These reforms affected ideals of femininity and masculinity in the areas of marriage, domesticity, and dress. By the creation of a "discourse of respectability," says Kent, Tamil Christians hoped to counter the cultural justifications for their social, economic, and sexual exploitation at the hands of high-caste landowners and village elites. Kent's focus on the interactions between Western women missionaries and the Indian Christian women not only adds depth to our understanding of colonial and patriarchal power dynamics, but to the intricacies of conversion itself. Posing an important challenge to normative notions of conversion as a privatized, individual moment in time, Kent's study takes into consideration the ways that public behavior, social status, and the transformation of everyday life inform religious conversion.

Sacred Groves And Local Gods

Author : Eliza F. Kent
ISBN : 9780199895465
Genre : Religion
File Size : 27. 77 MB
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Drawing on fieldwork conducted in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu over seven years, Eliza F. Kent offers a compelling examination of the religious and social context in which south India's sacred groves take on meaning for the villagers who maintain them, and shows how they have become objects of fascination and hope for Indian environmentalists.

Ritual Caste And Religion In Colonial South India

Author : Michael Bergunder
ISBN : 9789380607214
Genre : India
File Size : 57. 52 MB
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Christians And Missionaries In India

Author : Robert Eric Frykenberg
ISBN : 9781136128660
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 56. 19 MB
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The assumption that Christianity in India is nothing more than a European, western, or colonial imposition is open to challenge. Those who now think and write about India are often not aware that Christianity is a non-western religion, that in India this has always been so, and that there are now more Christians in Africa and Asia than in the West. Recognizing that more understanding of the separate histories and cultures of the many Christian communities in India will be needed before a truly comprehensive history of Christianity in India can be written, this volume addresses particular aspects of cultural contact, with special reference to caste, conversion, and colonialism. Subjects addressed range from Sanskrit grammar to populist Pentecostalism, Urdu polemics and Tamil poetry.

The Oxford Handbook Of Religious Conversion

Author : Lewis Ray Rambo
ISBN : 9780195338522
Genre : Religion
File Size : 77. 48 MB
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This handbook offers a comprehensive exploration of the dynamics of religious conversion, which for centuries has profoundly shaped societies, cultures, and individuals throughout the world.

The Graceful Guru

Author : Karen Pechilis
ISBN : 9780195145373
Genre : Religion
File Size : 89. 23 MB
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A distinctive aspect of Hindu devotion is the veneration of a human guru, who is not only an exemplar and a teacher but is also understood to be an embodiment of the divine. Historically, the role of guru in the public domain has been exclusive to men. The new visibility of female gurus in India and the U.S. today, and indeed across the globe, has inspired this first-ever scholarly study of the origins, variety, and worldwide popularity of Hindu female gurus. In the Introduction, Karen Pechilis examines the historical emergence of Hindu female gurus with reference to the Hindu philosophy of the self, women spiritual exemplars as wives and saints, Tantric worship of the Goddess, and the internationalization of gurus in the U.S. in the twentieth century. Nine essays profile specific female gurus, presenting biographies of these remarkable women while highlighting overarching issues and themes concerning women's status as religious leaders; these themes are nuanced in the afterword to the volume. The essays explore how Hindu female gurus embody grace in both senses--as a feminine ideal and an attribute of the divine-and argue that their status as leaders is grounded in their negotiation of these two types of grace. This book provides biographical profiles of the following female gurus plus sensitive scholarly analysis of their spiritual paths: Ammachi, Anandamayi Ma, Gauri Ma, Gurumayi, Jayashri Ma, Karunamayi Ma, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, Mother Meera, Shree Maa and Sita Devi.

The Western Construction Of Religion

Author : Daniel Dubuisson
ISBN : 0801873207
Genre : Religion
File Size : 47. 51 MB
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Anthropologist and historian of religion Daniel Dubuisson contests Mircea Eliade's theory of the existence of a universal Homo Religiosus and argues that "religion" as a discrete concept is a Western construct, an invention of nineteenth-century scholars who created it as a field of scientific study. The Western Construction of Religion not only provides a critical assessment of the whole history of "religion" as it is understood in the West but also offers better ways of studying this central part of human experience.

Constructing Indian Christianities

Author : Chad M. Bauman
ISBN : 9781317560272
Genre : Religion
File Size : 51. 44 MB
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This volume offers insights into the current ‘public-square’ debates on Indian Christianity. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork as well as rigorous analyses, it discusses the myriad histories of Christianity in India, its everyday practice and contestations and the process of its indigenisation. It addresses complex and pertinent themes such as Dalit Indian Christianity, diasporic nationalism and conversion. The work will interest scholars and researchers of religious studies, Dalit and subaltern studies, modern Indian history, and politics.

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