This book provides analysis of a variety of biblical narratives and texts which are the vehicle for the expression, articulation and performance of diverse identities in the Indian context. From pan Indian social problems attributable to caste, class and gender inequality, to specific North Eastern tribal settings, to Dalit struggles in rural Andhra Pradesh, to the experience of Christian autorickshaw drivers in urban Chennai, the book explores the diverse geographical, cultural, social, economic and linguistic settings in which the Bible is encountered.
A holistic approach to Biblical studies broadens the field—beyond textual exegesis. Encounters with the Bible are revealed in diverse chapters—impacted by contexts of caste realities, the history of Indian Christianity, colonial and post-colonial frameworks, educational institutions, cultural, folk tale, literary and auto/biographical narratives in tribal and Dalit settings. Diversity of method is championed including sociological analysis of Indian social realities, qualitative field work techniques and a kaleidoscope of visual and sensory environments with over 30 photographs.
The book celebrates and promotes diversity in Indian biblical studies, creativity and sometimes conflicting perspectives—the Bible is an open book and interpretation cannot be prematurely closed off and fixed. If A Biblical Masala encourages others whose voices and experiences are not captured or addressed to engage in their own exegesis and record their encounters with the biblical literature then we will have fulfilled our aim.
A Biblical Masala: An Orientation to Our Book / David J. Chalcraft
Historical Episodes of Biblical Studies in India from a British Perspective
1. Strategies Past, Present and Future: The Context and Variety of Biblical Studies in Indian Culture and Society / David J. Chalcraft (Liverpool)
2. English and Indian Readings of Naboth's Vineyard: The Role of Identity and Context in the Sociological Meaning and Use of Biblical Texts / David J. Chalcraft (Liverpool)
3. Nation and Text: The Biblical Roots of Hindu Nationalism / Hugh S. Piper (Sheffield)
Readings with a Social Conscience
4. Holiness School's Response to Economic Injustice: Reading Leviticus 25 in the Multi-Religious and Cultural Context of India / P. Joseph Titus (Bangalore)
5. A Dialogue between Indian and Biblical Social Settings: Reading the Two Parables of Rich Men (Luke 12.16-21 and 16.19-31) Contextually / V. J. John (Kolkata)
6. The Context of Dalit Christians in Rural Andhra Pradesh: Christian Faith, Caste and Culture / Jeeva Kumar Ravela (Hyderabad)
7. Encountering the Bible: Listening to the Voices of Madiga Christian / Jeeva Kumar Ravela and David J. Chalcraft (Hyderabad & Liverpool)
8. 'Why are times not kept by the Almighty?' - Job, Violence and God: A Dalit Contextual Reading of Job 24 / Jeeva Kumar Ravela (Hyderabad)
9. An Introduction to Tribal Interpretation of the Bible / Zhodi Angami (Jorhat)
10. Reading Amos 6.1-7 in the Light of Mizo Values and Ethos / K. Lallawmzuala (Aizawl)
11. Seeing Jesus through Tribal Eyes / Zhodi Angami (Jorhat)
12. A Tribal God for a Tribal People: Reading the Creation Narratives of Genesis and the Prologue of John's Gospel from an Angami Perspective / Zhodi Angami (Jorhat)
An Empirical Turn? The (Visual) Ethnography of Biblical Encounter
13. The Use of the Bible in the Institutional Body Language of Christian Schools in India: Mediating Western: Christian; or Western Christian Culture in Contemporary India? / Sally Elton-Chalcraft (Lancaster)
14. 'Bad Fellows' Doing a 'Cursed Job': Reading the Bible with 'Ordinary' Autowallahs in Chennai / Arren Bennet Lawrence (Chennai)
David J. Chalcraft, Professor of Sociology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
Zhodi Angami, Professor of New Testament, Eastern Theological College, Jorhat, India