Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dalit Theology : Annotated Bibliography

Contextualization Bibliographies General: Intros Culture Messenger Books
Dimensions: Doctrine/
Theology Ritual Ethics Experiential Myth Social
Theologies: African Asian Caribbean Latin American Middle East Oceanic Western Majority World Western Minority
Topics: AICS Ancestors Case Studies Christology Church Models Dalit Ecclesiology Evangelism/ Conversion Hermeneutics
Incarnation Inculturation Liberation Minjung Music/Art Practica Syncretism Urban Women
Regions: Africa Asia Caribbean Europe Latin America Middle East North America Oceania Multiple/General

Biblio Format Annotation
Abraham, K. C. "Asian Theology Looking to 21st Century." Voices (1997): 81-98. Asian theologies are contextual theologies; they are also people's theologies. Being truly rooted in the Asian realties they are given different names such as: Theology of Struggle, Minjung Theology, Dalit Theology, and there are women's (Feminist) theologies, They reflect on the deeper yearnings of their religions and cultures, critically rejecting some and reaffirming others. In the past, the Asian churches, by an large, a product of western missions, were content with repeating, without reflection, the confessions of faith evolved by the Western churches. Creative theologies in Asia began to emerge in the 19th century when the churches started relating their faith to the questions and concerns peculiar to Asia. This theological encounter continues as the Church faces new problems and challenges. We have embarked on a new journey, breaking the tutelage of our erstwhile Western masters. A new stage in this journey has begun as we are on the threshold of 21st century. How do we articulate our agenda for the future?
Abraham, K. C. "Dalit Theology--Some Tasks Ahead." Bangalore Theological Forum 29:1/2 (March & June 1997): 36-47. By far the most significant contribution from India to the present-day contextualized theological thinking comes from Dalit theology and the late Prof. A. P. Nirmal was its most articulate spokesperson. This paper is a tribute to him in which the author reiterates some of the cardinal elements of Dalit theology, especially as they are reflected in the writings of Nirmal and then suggests some tasks ahead.
Ayrookuzhiel, A. M. Abraham. "Dalit Liberation: Some Reflections on Their Ideological Predicament." Religion and Society (Bangalore) 35:2 (June 1988): 47-52. The two positions taken by Gandhi and Ambedkar represent two different ideological strands on the Dalit question. While Gandhi was the great champion of Dalit integration within the Hindu community, Ambedkar exhorted his people to leave Hinduism and struggle independently for their liberation. Is Gandhian ideology of Dalit integration within the Hindu fold a realistic one? What is the experience of the Dalits of the past half century of the Gandhian approach? What is the rationale of Ambedkar's doctrine of struggle against Hinduism? These are important questions to be considered because the issue at stake is the liberation of 150 million people.
Ayrookuzhiel, A. M. Abraham. "Religion and Culture in Dalits' Struggle for Liberation." Religion and Society (Bangalore) 33:2 (June 1986): 33-44. In this paper we discuss firstly, the nature of the religio-cultural problem the Dalitsv face against its historical background and its present day modifications. Secondly, we look into the history of the Dalits to see how they tried to solve their problems in the past and what the lessons learned were. Thirdly, we attempt a critical evaluation of the present religio-cultural predicament of the Dalits in India.
Clarke, Sathianathan. "Constructive Christian Theology: A Contextual Indian Proposal." Bangalore Theological Forum 29:1/2 (March & June 1997): 94-111. I propose that Christian theology is critical and constructive reflection of human dialogical social intercourse in its attempt to make sense of, find meaning in, and determine order for living collectively under God through the paradigm of Jesus Christ. In this paper I unpack the myriad theological assumptions and assertions woven into such an apparently temperate definition. In so doing, I initiate a conversation between the emerging school of "constructive theology" in the West and the legitimate voice of the Dalit communities in India. My thesis is that Constructive theology can be contextualised in India to be a productive and enriching model for doing Christian theology.
Clarke, Sundar. "Dalit Movement: Need for a Theology." In Towards a Dalit Theology, ed. M. E. Probhakar, 30-34. New Delhi: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1988.

Daniel, Ayub. "Dalit Theology: Punjab Perspective." Religion and Society (Bangalore) 38 (1991): 58-64. There is a very common Punjabi proverb that a hungry man was asked "How many 1+1 would make ?" He quickly replied. "Two loaves of bread". This may precisely be called the core of Dalit Theology. On a cursory look it might appear to be a theology of hunger, but a deeper insight and reflection would reveal much more deeper aspects. An authentic theology must emerge out of the experience of the people and I would like to add that it should also respond positively to the needs of the people. Now in the context of the Indian Dalits, their experience is their dalitness. Dalit Theology therefore, has to give expression to this experience of dalitness of the people and respond positively to their need, which is their main concern--how to earn their daily bread, how to overcome their life situations of oppression, poverty, suffering, injustice, illiteracy, and denial of identity; in short a question of survival. Dalit theology, therefore in the above sense is a 'contextual theology' and a theology from 'below', because it narrates the people's stories, sings songs of their suffering and triumphs, upholds their popular wisdom including their values proverbs, folklore, myths, interprets their history and culture, in order to articulate a faith to live by and to act on. Thus the real task for Dalit theology will be to create among the dalits, a consciousness of their dalitness, their history and roots, their culture and their faith, and thereby liberate them from their oppression and sufferings.
Dyvasirvadam, Govada. "Doing Theology with God's Purpose in India in the Context of the Dalit Struggle for a Fuller Humanity." In Doing Theology with God's Purpose in Asia, ed. Choo Lak Yeow, 104-10. Singapore: ATESEA, 1990. Dalit theology is an effort by dalit Christians to express their struggle for liberation in the light of the biblical faith of Israel. It is a process in the making. Dalit Christian theology (a) aims to reinterpret scripture in the context of the present reality and to relate the events of the biblical past to the dalit's struggle in India for a fuller humanity; (b) while it emphasizes individual sin, demands that more effort be given to rectify corporate sin, where human values are relegated to obscurity; (c) aims at reviving dalit history and culture, which adds to the fragrance of God's human garden; (d) aims at conscientizing dalits towards a praxis-oriented faith. This spiritual journey of dalits will continue long into the future until it reaches a 'kairotic moment' (in C. S. Song's words) which brings justice and reconciliation into their lives.
Gnanavaram, M. "'Dalit Theology' and the Parable of the Good Samaritan." Journal for the Study of the New Testament no 50 (1993): 59-83.

Habel, Norman C. "Emerging Dalit Theology: Liberation from What?" Lutheran Theological Journal 30 (1996): 66-74. My aim in this essay is to introduce readers to some of the current thinking in Dalit theology as it is formulated in works published by Gurukul Theological College, and to reflect briefly on the significance of these studies as a contribution to theology today. From an intensive search of Dalit history, experience, mission background, pre-mission identity, and popular beliefs, Dalit theologians have expressed a wide array of ideas which are part of an emerging Dalit theology. It would be presumptuous of me to claim I have understood the complexity of this phenomenon. There are, however, a number of theological concepts and emphases which seem to me to be distinctive and perhaps normative. These themes are a theology: grounded in the pathos of caste oppression; affirming dalits as humans; discerning signs of liberation in dalit history; affirming Jesus Christ as a dalit; emphasizing the servitude of God; in conflict with karma; in search of forgiveness power.
Jebaraj, D. "Paradigms in Dalit Theology." AETEI Journal 6:2 (July - Dec. 1993): 12-17. The dalit movements can be intelligently studied only when certain key issues are clarified: 1) the meaning of the term dalit; does this refer to all the oppressed and poor people or only the scheduled castes? 2) the original religion of the dalits; are they Hindus? If so is the dalit movement a religious one? 3) is the reservation policy good for the dalits? 4) what is the church's role in the dalit movement? Do the churches involve in conversion of the dalits or do they simply take part in their struggles without being concerned about conversion and the numerical growth of the church? 5) does the dalit movement resort to violent means to achieve liberation? And finally what is meant by liberation?
Kadankavil, Thomas. "Salvation from the Dalit Perspective: Earthly or Eschatological." Journal of Dharma 22:2 (1997): 128-154. Works through issues involved in Dalit perspectives on salvation. Concludes: The question where should the Dalits turn for salvation cannot be answered in any single, straight forward way. The answer depends on the nature of salvation one seeks an eternal salvation of the soul, or a temporal or earthly liberation of man from all that enslaves him. In the latter sense we can identify a number of factors, such as caste, untouchability, poverty, duties, prescribed by the upper caste Hinduism, unclean occupations, village system of living. Sanskritization etc. from which the Dalits are to be liberated. As a means for attaining this goal the solidarity of the Dalits is envisaged. It is to be consolidated by rebellion, challenge and disobedience supported by the Dalit literature of protest.
Larbeer, P. Mohan. In God, Christ & God's People in Asia as Seen by the Participants of the Consultation on the Theme 'Through a New Vision of God Towards the New Humanity in Christ' Kyoto, 1994. ed. Dhyanchand Carr, 118-127. Hong Kong: Christian Conference of Asia Theological Concerns, 1995.

Larbeer, P. Mohan. "The Spirit of Truth and Dalit Liberation." Ecumenical Review 42 (1990): 229-236. Describes the dalits through stories of oppression and explores issues of their need for freedom and dignity. Concludes: The church in India, as a community called to further the liberative mission, should come out from the clutches of the rich and the high caste. It is not enough merely to identify with the Dalits, the church should become the church of the Dalits. This Dalit church, with the power of the Spirit of truth, will witness to the Paraclete as mediator. This Dalit church will help its own community to come out of the feeling of forsakenness with the power of the indwelling presence of Jesus. Thus the Dalit church will be truly messianic and become instrumental in the gathering up of all things in Christ.
Madtha, William. "Dalit Theology: Voice of the Oppressed." Journal of Dharma 16 (1991): 74-92. Today, two of the most urgent questions that face any religion are the questions of the many poor and many religions. The answers that the churches give to these challanges will determine their relevance. In this context, when religions of different view points dialogue together on the poor a fruitful and critical reflection, rooted in theo-praxis, will emerge. Such praxis and dialogue-based reflection on dalit situation may be provisionally christened as dalit theology. Dalit theology is a systematization of the critical reflection on ortho-praxis which the oppressed generate dialogically in the light of their faith. 'It is born out of a live experience of the suffering or marginalized and their. shared efforts to abolish their existing unjust situation and to build basileia; a new society; more free and more human, come what may. Hence it is a theology of the rift-raff, the underside of history. Here the down-trodden become the historical locus Dei. God is encountered in the struggles for the rights of human bpings through thick and thin (is 1.11-17; Jer.22.13-16; Hos. 4.1-2, 6.4-6). The kernel and core of . dalit theology is not logos but praxis that is liberative. The primary agents of this struggle are the dalits themselves and the others are only empathetic animators. This theology puts justice and establishment of God's reign at the centre of Kerygma in lieu of doctrinal orthodoxy and church-expansion.
Massey, James. "Christian Dalits: A Historical Perspective." Journal of Dharma 16 (1991): 44-60. The basic question addressed here is: Why Christian dalits? Even after becoming Christian? Particularly, when Christian religion upholds the principle of equality. Then why the conditions of Christian dalits are unchanged ? This problem as it stands today is well recognized in some circles both within the Indian Church/Christians as well as outside. But on the whole the blame is put on the caste system of Indian society. It is true that in general the caste system is the root cause of dalits in India. But is that the case of Christian dalits also? Or is their problem much deeper based or rooted in some particular religious understanding (of christian faith)? Besides addressing this question, discussion here also includes the questions of the missionary methods, their superiority complex, their response to the problem of the Christian dality, and also later on how Indian Christians/Church responded to the same issue.
Massey, James. "Christian Dalits in India: An Analysis." Religion and Society (Bangalore) 37:3 (September 1990): 40-53. The scope of this paper is limited to the Christian Dalits in India, particularly to their unchanged condition, after becoming Christian. The aim of this paper is in no way to offer a solution to the problem of Christian Dalits. The basic aim is to understand the reason(s) behind their unchanged condition. To deal with the subject, the method used here is: some of the main historical cases from Indian Church history have been taken into consideration and based on this an analysis has been made to reach the final conclusion.
Massey, James. "Ingredients for a Dalit Theology." In Towards a Dalit Theology, ed. M. E. Probhakar, 57-63. New Delhi: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1988.

Massey, James. "The Role of the Churches in the Whole Dalit Issue." Religion and Society (Bangalore) 41:1 (March 1994): 44-50. Before defining the role of churches, it is thus very important for us to answer one other pertinent question of why the Christian community/Church in India has failed to address the whole issue of Dalits, particularly Christian Dalits, or to put this question another way, why do we find condition of the Christian Dalits unchanged, even after becoming Christans? To get a reasonably clear answer to these questions we have to go to the root of the issue or problem of Christian Dalits, which has a number of dimensions. Because of the limitation of time and also the size of this presentation, it is not possible here to deal with all the dimensions of the question or to go into details. Therefore for our discussion and consideration, we will highlight four of the major dimensions which comprise the historical, biblical, theological, and human rights issue.
Nalunnakkal, George Mathew. "Search for Self-Identity and the Emerging Spirituality: A Dalit Theological Perspective." Bangalore Theological Forum 30:1/2 (March & June 1998): 25-44. Dalit (the term in the Indian context denotes those oppressed on the basis of caste) theology is a theology done by and for the dalits in India. Above all, dalit theology is a reflection on dalit consciousness and identity. Concludes: It is high time that dalit theology, as also liberation theology, realizes that socio-political liberation alone will not be an integral liberation unless it is linked with liberation of land and earth and the whole ecology which is so integral to the survival of the dalits and the tribals in India. Thus, linking the social concerns of the dalits and the tribals with their ecological concerns, an authentic spirituality can be developed in the Indian context. Dalits should take land as a theological category and strive to regain possession of their homeland (ecology) which is part of their culture and religiosity. Only then, an integral spirituality which is rooted in the searches of basic communities for their identity can and will be a reality.
Nirmal, A. P. "Towards a Christian Dalit Theology." Asia Journal of Theology 6:2 (1992): 297-310. Indian Christian theology is now for the dalit, no longer confined to the elite. This article explores this issue and explains what dalit theology is.
Parratt, John. "Recent Writing on Dalit Theology: A Bibliographical Essay." International Review of Mission 83:329 (April 1994): 329-37. There is thus burgeoning literature appearing in India on this peculiarly Indian theology of the oppressed. Regrettably, distribution of Indian Christian books in the west is at best erratic. This is a pity, for it means that western theologians are only scantily informed about one of the most exciting and important developments in third world theology for several years. Dalit theology is the theologizing of ordinary believers at the grassroots, and which manifests itself in hymn, song and story, as well as in the more sustained argumentation of trained theologians. It is appropriate then that several of the volumes discussed in this review include some moving examples of such oral-narrative theology.
Prabhakar, M. E. "In Search of Roots--Dalit Aspirations and the Christian Dalit Question: Perceptions of the Telugu Poet Laureate, Joshua." Religion and Society (Bangalore) 41:1 (March 1994): 2-20. This essay is being offered as a token of my personal response to the Christian Dalit question, in the face of continuing allegations against Christian social activists of promoting Christian communalism, by some sections of the ecumenical leadership and support bases of the Church in India and abroad. The Christian Dalit question is a central element in the achievement of solidarity and liberation of all Dalits and in fulfilling the spiritual and social goals of the Christian Fellowship (Koinonia) in India which is predominantly constituted by Christian Dalits, who first entered the churches in their hundreds of thousands during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, seeking spiritual and social solace and humane community.
Probhakar, M. E., ed. Towards a Dalit Theology, New Delhi: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1988.

Raj, Antony. In Integral Mission Dynamics: An Interdisciplinary Study of the Catholic Church in India, ed. Augustine Kanjamala, 70-88. New Delhi: Intercultural Publications, 1996.


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