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Christian Mission and Conversion: A Historical Sociological and Anthropological Study of the Depressed Castes of India, 1850-1950

Santha Kumari Varikoti Jetty (Author)

Christian missionary-mediated empowerment and attainment of greater social consciousness among the subaltern communities was a phenomenal factor of social transformation in India since the middle of the 19th century. This book is a reconstruction of the conversion movement and social change among two depressed castes-the Malas and the Madigas-in coastal Andhra, greatly owed to the evangelisation work of the Western Christian missionaries during the period from 1850 to 1950. The book discusses in detail, the response of the Malas and Madigas to Christian evangelisation through conversion and their subsequent social transformation in many aspects of life. The missionaries engaged in social, religious, educational, occupational and economic upliftment programs for the people of coastal Andhra, principally among these two communities. This study examines in detail, the factors and causes of conversion of the Malas and the Madigas and their post-conversion socio-cultural, religious, occupational, educational and economic upward mobility. The book skillfully weaves the lofty precepts and liberative values of the Christian religion as translated in the work of the missionaries. More importantly, the book highlights how the missionaries facilitated the processes of liberation from the multiple bondages-social, religious, cultural, economic and so on, which these communities had been suffering for centuries. Also, the book brings forth how the convert communities themselves took initiatives to reconstruct a different self-image based on Christian values and dignity of the human person on one hand, and to assert a social space at par with any other community in the wider ambient society, on the other. Delving deep into numerous historical sources, the book unearths the processes of construction of a new social consciousness among the two castes, besides the dynamics of social transformation as a consequence of it.

Contents: Foreword. Preface and Acknowledgments.1. Introduction. 2. Understanding the Malas and the Madigas: Social, Economic, Religious and Political Conditions in mid-19th Century. 3. Christian Missions in Coastal Andhra: Organization, Evangelization and Conversion. 4. Conversions among the Malas and Madigas: Spread, Factors, Agency and Dynamics. 5. Christian Education and Health Care Services in Coastal Andhra. 6. Mediating Socio-economic and Socio-religious Structural Changes: Christian Mission, Malas and Madigas. 7. Conclusion and Epilogue. Appendices. Bibliography. Index.

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Bibliographic information

Title Christian Mission and Conversion: A Historical Sociological and Anthropological Study of the Depressed Castes of India, 1850-1950
Author Santha Kumari Varikoti Jetty
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.11.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789351483878
length xxvi+389p.