In Search of Identity: Debates on Religious Conversion in India

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Item Code: IDE897
Author: Sebastian C.H. Kim
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 0195677129
Pages: 261
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
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Book Description

From the Jacket :

This important volume examines the major arguments on conversion between Hindus and Christian, and also among Christian theologians in both pre-Independence India. It reveals and interprets the arguments for and against conversion and seeks to understand and seeks to understand them within a historicity and contemporary perspective.

Engaging and immensely relevant, this book will interest policy-makers, journalists, academics, and lay readers, besides being indispensable to researchers and students of sociology, religion, theology, history, politics, and law.

About the Author :

Sebastian Kim is a Professor of Theology and Public Life at York St. John College, York, UK and Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Excerpts from reviews

'Very few books have. ...discussed [religious conversion] in a pan-Indian context. ... This book both promises and delivers this very perspective. ... a landmark in studies on conversion...'

- Seminar

'The vital importance of this timely and extremely well - written book cannot be stressed enough. ... Kim offers us a sober, carefully researched and painstakingly documented book on the emergence of the conversion issue during the last one hundred and fifty years in pre-and post-independent India. ... [T]he book... offers us a fine basis to continue the exploration of conversion and its discounts.'

- The Book Review

'Kim seeks to reveal arguments for and against conversions, wherein lies the appeal of his book. ...By highlighting contesting philosophies, Kim focuses on crucial conversion issue.'

- Hindustan Times

'... Kim's work ... prove[s] to be handy reference both for policy-makers and scholars.'

The Telegraph




1. Introduction: Christian Mission and the Problem of Conversion in India 1
2. Debate on Conversion under the British Raj 13
  I. Debate on conversion in Bengal in the first half of the nineteenth century 14
  II. M.K. Gandhi and the debates on conversion, 1931 - 1937 23
3. Debate on Conversion in the Indian Constituent Assembly, 1947 - 1949 37
  I. The issue of conversion in the emerging politics of swaraj 38
  II. The debate on conversion in the Constituent Assembly 42
  III. Religious freedom and the secular state 55
4. Debates on Missionary activity and freedom of Religion in Independent India, 1954 - 1979 59
  I. The debate over the report of the Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee (Niyogi Report), 1954-1957 60
  II. The debate over 'freedom of religion' legislation, 1967 - 1979 73
  III. Hindu tolerance, law, and conversion 84
5. The Debates on Conversion Among Protestant Theologians in India, 1966 - 1971 88
  I. The Protestant debates on conversion in the 1960s and 1970s 89
  II. Conversion, secularization, and community 103
6. The Catholic Debates on Conversion in the 1980s. 109
  I. The theology of inculturation and the debate on the Hindu-Catholic approach to conversion 111
  II. Liberation theology and the debate over mass conversion in south Tamil Nadu 121
7. World Evangelization, Hindutva, and the Debate Provoked by Arun Shourie, 1994 - 1995 132
  I. Christian campaigns for evangelization of the world 133
  II. Nationalist Hindu responses to world evangelization and the campaign of Hindutva 139
  III. Debate between Arun Shourie and Christian leaders 142
  IV. The past and present of Hindu and Christian understanding on conversion 151
8. The Debate on Conversion Initiated by the Sangh Parivar, 1998 - 1999 155
  I. Hindu-Christian tensions over conversion 156
  II. Conversion from the perspective of Hindus 163
  III. Christian rethinking of conversion in the context of Hindutva 170
  IV. The problem of conversion as symptomatic of a clash of religious frameworks 175
9. Conclusion: Human Rights, Tolerance, and Religious Conversion in India 180
  I. Christianity and human rights 184
  II. Hinduism and religious tolerance 187
  III. Towards a theology of conversion for Christian mission in India 190
  I: The Proceedings of the Debate on Conversion in the Constituent Assembly, 1947-1949 201
  II: Summary of Recommendations of the Report of the Christian Missionary activities Enquiry Committee (Niyogi Report) 204
  III: The Orissa Freedom of Religion Act 1967 (Orissa Act II 1968) 207
  IV: The Madhya Pradesh Dharma Swatantrya Adhiniyam, 1968 209
  V: The Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Indigenous Faith Act, 1978 211
  VI: Freedom of Religion Bill Introduced in the Parliament 213
    Bibliography 215
    Index 240


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