Finalist for the 2018 Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies presented by the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies
At the turn of the twenty-first century, Selva J. Raj (1952-2008) was one of the most important scholars of popular Indian Christianity and South Asian religion in North America. Vernacular Catholicism, Vernacular Saints
gathers together, for the first time in a single volume, a series of his groundbreaking studies on the distinctively "vernacular" Catholic traditions of Tamil Nadu in southeast India. This collection, which focuses on four rural shrines, highlights ritual variety and ritual transgression in Tamil Catholic practice and offers clues to the ritual exchange, religious hybridity, and dialogue occurring at the grassroots level between Tamil Catholics and their Hindu and Muslim neighbors. Raj also advances a new and alternative paradigm for interreligious dialogue that radically differs from models advocated by theologians, clergy, and other religious elite. In addition, essays by other leading scholars of Indian Christianity and South Asian religions--Michael Amaladoss, Purushottama Bilimoria, Corinne G. Dempsey, Eliza F. Kent, and Vasudha Narayanan--are included that amplify and creatively extend Raj's work.