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Negotiating Traditions: Popular Christianity in India

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This paper will look at converted Christian communities on the Indian subcontinent and the emergent rich bricolage of religious traditions. A narrative of Indian Christianity takes us almost imperceptibly into the realm of cultural convergence and communication. While the concepts of 'syncretism' or 'composite culture' have framed many discussions regarding this interaction, newer perspectives have begun to emerge. Syncretism sometimes implies the harmonious interaction of different religious traditions, while ethnographies bring up a far more complicated picture of contestation and struggle. We also need to look closely at patterns of religious interaction and engagement. Christianity may take from Hinduism, but this is not always the case. Sometimes both Christianity and Hinduism simultaneously engage with a different religious and cultural environment. Processes are more complex than they at first sight appear and, as this paper will attempt to show, some amount of historicisation is essential when understanding the ways in which they work.

Affiliations: 1: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853109x385385
2009-01-01
2016-12-04

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