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To Be Cared ForThe Power of Conversion and Foreignness of Belonging in an Indian Slum$
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Nathaniel Roberts

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288812

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288812.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 October 2019

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
To Be Cared For
Author(s):

Nathaniel Roberts

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520288812.003.0009

The introduction begins by describing the stark racialized division between Dalits and non-Dalits in India, noting that it derives from a usually unacknowledged legacy of slavery. It then explains the book’s arguments by chapter. The book provides an analysis of a widespread movement to convert Dalits to Pentecostal Christianity, which is taking place in a slum in the south Indian city of Chennai. It describes how slum dwellers understand religion in the context of their social and political-economic situations as marginalized residents of an urban periphery. It contrasts this picture with how religion is conceptualized by national elites, and in Indian law, which seeks to ban conversions that are allegedly not “genuine” because they focus on material well-being—exactly the kinds of conversion taking place in the slum.

Keywords:   nationalism, Dalit, caste, anthropology of religion

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