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Series: Studies in the History of Christian Missions (SHCM)
When a form of Christianity from one corner of the world encounters the religion and culture of another, new and distinctive forms of the faith result. In this volume Chad Bauman considers one such cultural context -- colonial Chhattisgarh in north central India.
In his study Bauman focuses on the interaction of three groups: Hindus from the low-caste Satnami community, Satnami converts to Christianity, and the American missionaries who worked with them. Informed by archival snooping and ethnographic fieldwork, the book reveals the emergence of a unique Satnami-Christian identity. As Bauman shows, preexisting structures of thought, belief, behavior, and more altered this emerging identity in significant ways, thereby creating a distinct regional Christianity.
AWARDS and RECOGNITIONSHindu-Christian Studies Society, Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies (2006-2008)
REVIEWSAndrew F. Walls, Centre for the Study of African and Asian Christianity, Liverpool Hope University
"This is a rich book, learned, empathetic, nuanced, and, despite the erudition, readable into the bargain. It unpicks complicated stories, giving different perceptions of the event their due weight, and approaches complex entities with insight. As a study of the renovation of tradition it illuminates not only the remarkable Satnami history but the whole process of interaction as Christianity crosses cultural frontiers." Richard Fox Young, Princeton Theological Seminary
"An exemplary case study and a good deal more. . . . A valuable resource for theory and methodology, much needed in a field where portable models are still in short supply. Working archivally in America and ethnographically in India, Bauman stands at the point of tangency between disciplines, crafting an approach that illuminates agency, indigenous and exogenous, in ways that are neither one-sidedly 'top down' nor 'bottom up.' His contribution to ongoing debates about 'conversion' will be discussed for years to come."