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By David Mosse

The Saint within the Banyan Tree is a nuanced and traditionally persuasive exploration of Christianity’s extraordinary trajectory as a social and cultural strength in southern India. beginning within the 17th century, whilst the faith used to be built-in into Tamil associations of caste and renowned religiosity, this examine strikes into the 20th century, while Christianity turned an unforeseen resource of radical transformation for the country’s ‘untouchables’ (dalits). Mosse exhibits how caste was once relevant to the best way different types of ‘religion’ and ‘culture’ have been shaped and negotiated in missionary encounters, and the way the social and semiotic probabilities of Christianity bring about a brand new politic of equivalent rights in South India. Skillfully combining archival study with anthropological fieldwork, this ebook examines the total cultural impression of Christianity on Indian non secular, social and political lifestyles. Connecting old ethnography to the preoccupations of monks and Jesuit social activists, Mosse throws new gentle at the modern nature of caste, conversion, spiritual synthesis, secularization, dalit politics, the inherent tensions of spiritual pluralism, and the fight for popularity between subordinated people.

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