ABSTRACT

Taking cue from Ruth Benedict’s dictum, “the purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences,” the article will highlight how ethnographic accounts of Christian practices allow for the recognition and appreciation of difference within sameness. Ethnographic studies of community and ritual demonstrate that difference is internal to religious faiths as they migrate from community to community both within the same geographical region and also across the globe. By employing ethnographic studies (focusing on Anderson Jeremiah’s work, “Community and Worldview among Paraiyars of South India” in particular) of Dalit Christians in South India, the article argues that ethnography offers itself as a soteriological category that could save not only Christian theology but also that which—by enabling theologies to self-critically reflect on their proclivity to hegemonic imaginations—saves the world.

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