Book chapter (OA) / The Rise of ‘New Generation’ Churches in Kerala Christianity

John, Stanley. ‘The Rise of “New Generation” Churches in Kerala Christianity’. In World Christianity: Methodological Considerations, edited by Martha Frederiks and Dorottya Nagy, 19:271–91. Theology and Mission in World Christianity. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2021.

Abstract: Pentecostalism has experienced stupendous growth globally in the 20th century, and new churches and movements of ‘pentecostal’ or ‘charismatic’ nature continue to emerge within World Christianity in the 21st century.

This chapter grapples with the question of how to understand these new movements in the light of global Pentecostalism and local histories. It explores what may be appropriate terminologies and conceptual frameworks that can best capture the complexity and uniqueness, and situate these new movements in context with other movements globally.

Focusing on the case of ‘New Generation’ churches from Kerala and its diaspora, this chapter cautions us from creating an assumption of normativity of Pentecostalism’s origin and features, instead inclining our ears to understand contemporary movements within local contexts shaped by the movements and denominations to which they are responding and reacting.

More info and full text (OA): https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004444867_014

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Book chapter / Relations between Kerala and Sri Lanka

Bajpai, Lopamudra Maitra. ‘Time, Palate and History: Relations between Kerala and Sri Lanka’. In India, Sri Lanka and the SAARC Region: History, Popular Culture and Heritage. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2021.
Abstract: The connection between Kerala in India and Sri Lanka can be traced across history, folklore and oral traditions, rites, rituals and festivals, architecture and lifestyle, and also the palate and food.
The connection can be traced to ancient times when a Sri Lankan king visited the Chera country in Kerala during the Pattani festival at Vanchi in the Kerala region; was perhaps the contemporary of Senguttuvan Chera, according to the Sangam poems, and can be dated to either the first or last quarter of the 2nd century CE (depending on whether he was the earlier or the later Gajabahu).
The Pattani cult (of the deity) is said to have been brought to Sri Lanka by Gajabahu.

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Book chapter / Bhadrakali and Formation of a Regional Goddess in Kerala

Brussel, Noor Van. ‘Bhadrakāḷī: Slaying the Demon in the Backwaters’. In A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond, edited by Michael Slouber, 19-41. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2021.
Excerpt: The narrative consists of two chapters translated from The Glorification of Bhadrakāḷī (Bhadrakāḷī Māhātmya), a Sanskrit text of the ‘regional Purāṇa’ type, which mixes local narratives and perspectives with transregional myths and themes.
It tells the tale of the demon Dārika and his destined death at the hands of the fierce goddess Bhadrakāḷī. In this way, it is part of an enduring motif in Hindu myth and art: that of demons being slain by fearsome goddesses.
While the text in its current version likely dates to the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, the first reference to a fierce goddess battling a demon called Dārika already appears about one thousand years earlier, in the Tamil epic Chilappatikāram.
The Hindus of Kerala developed the Bhadrakāḷī narrative into a multifaceted framework of legends, rituals, songs, and performance traditions.

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Book chapter / Latin Catholic Church and neoliberalism in Kerala

Raoof, C.K. Abdul. “From mobilisations to mediations : Shifting trajectories of the Latin Catholic Church’s engagements with neoliberal development projects in Kerala.”
In Change and Mobility in Contemporary India : Thinking M. N. Srinivas Today edited By Sobin George, Manohar Yadav, Anand Inbanathan.

Routledge, 2019.  ISBN : 9780429345074

Abstract : The role of religious and faith-based organisations (FBOs) in the development processes has been widely accepted in India and they played and continue to play significant roles in several developmental and political activities.

This chapter takes the developmental and political interventions of Latin Catholic Church (LCC), which has been playing an active role among fish workers in the coastal regions of southern Kerala, as a case in point to address some of the following questions. What have been the trajectories of FBOs’ developmental interventions?

What determines their approaches on a particular socio-political and development issue? How do FBOs mediate between people and the state? Does the state use the moral authority and power of such organisations to pacify the discontent of people against neoliberal state projects? If so, how?

More info : https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/mobilisations-mediations-abdul-raoof/e/10.4324/9780429345074-13

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Book chapter / Urbanization in Kerala and Tamil Nadu

Vaddiraju, Anil Kumar. ‘Kerala and Tamil Nadu: Rapid Urbanization and Dispersed Urban Growth’. In Urban Governance and Local Democracy in South India, 57-71. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2021.
Abstract: This chapter presents the trends of urbanization in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The chapter argues that the urbanization process has been more dispersed in both states than that of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
We also argue that the dispersed pattern of urbanization in Kerala and Tamil Nadu makes it a more inclusive development process.
After discussing the trends of urbanization in both the states, we present a case study of one city in Tamil Nadu, namely Salem.
While there is no doubt that the urban development process in Tamil Nadu is even, dispersed and balanced, the problems in cities such as Salem are more or less in accordance with the problems we found in other cities such as Dharwad.
Urban governance also did not show much difference between that of cities such as Dharwad as the cities were basically governed by bureaucracy.

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Book chapter / Gender, Caste, and Land Inequality in Kerala

Brulé, Rachel E. ‘Where Are the Women? Investigating Reform’s Roots’. In Women, Power, and Property: The Paradox of Gender Equality Laws in India, 70–117. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
Summary: This chapter studies the strategic political origins of gender-equalizing land inheritance reforms using legislative debates newly translated to English, and analysis of historical behaviour and motivations.
It examines three states and the constitutional amendment mandating women’s electoral representation.
Kerala entered independence with one of the highest levels of caste and landholding inequality, alongside small matrilineal communities with high female autonomy.
Here, women’s rights to land were weaponized as a source of injustice (to men). Andhra Pradesh also entered independence with high caste and landholding inequality, absent a strong tradition of women’s autonomy.
Activism by radical, caste-based movements to undercut caste dominance enabled rethinking of power elsewhere. In this “moderate” example of reform, legislation was symbolic, resonant with newly pivotal female voters but unlikely to be enforced.
In Karnataka, moderate caste and landholding inequality enabled a newly empowered party and chief minister to legislate and enforce reform for women, due to women’s status as pivotal voters and the promise of fundamentally restructuring political agency.
Constitutional reform occurred due to women’s increasingly pivotal role as well-informed voters willing to reward or punish parties for their commitments.

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Book chapter / The Dutch Empire in Malabar

Gommans, Jos J.L., and Pieter C. Emmer, eds. ‘The Dutch Tropics’. In The Dutch Overseas Empire, 1600–1800, 254–310. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Excerpt (edited): As in virtually all the other trading posts in Asia, the VOC [Dutch East India Company] in Malabar also depended on middlemen for the supply and sale of goods. Even during the Portuguese period, several groups of traders had emerged who fulfilled an important role as mediators between the long-distance trade of the Portuguese and immigrant (pardesi) Muslims and the local distribution networks.

The three most important were the indigenous Mappila Muslims and two Brahmin groups, the Konkani (or Canarians, in Dutch Canarijns) from the northern coastal areas of the Konkan and Kanara, and the Tamil Pattars from Coromandel. In addition, there were all sorts of other regional trading communities, usually referred to by the umbrella term Chettiars or, as we met them in Ceylon, Chetties.

These groups worked closely together with the minor noblemen consisting of so-called Nayars, local warrior chiefs who, with their widespread family networks, controlled the production of pepper and other crops.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108647403.019

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Book chapter / Memories and Geographies of Colonialism Across Kerala and Tanzania

Joseph, May. ‘Indian Ocean Ontology: Nyerere, Memory, Place’. In Reimagining Indian Ocean Worlds, edited by Smriti Srinivas, Bettina Ng’weno, and Neelima Jeychandran. Routledge Series on the Indian Ocean and Trans-Asia. Routledge, 2020.

Abstract (provided by author): ‘Indian Ocean Ontology: Nyerere, Memory, Place’ is a self reflexive essay grafting Kerala with Tanzania. It explores the gaps between the lived, the historic, and the everyday that shapes modern migrancy, and the challenges of citizenship that informed Tanzanian Asians of the 1960s and 1970s. How does one write through the process of dislocation, revolution, diaspora? This essay takes a stab at some methodological and writerly directions.

More info: https://www.routledge.com/Reimagining-Indian-Ocean-Worlds/Srinivas-Ngweno-Jeychandran/p/book/9780367344535

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Book chapter / Masculinity in Malayalam cinema

Pillai, Meena T. ‘The Feudal Lord Reincarnate: Mohanlal and the Politics of Malayali Masculinity’.

in Lawrence, Michael, ed. Indian Film Stars: New Critical Perspectives. London: British Film Institute, 2020. pp. 87-98.

Excerpt: This chapter seeks to interrogate the representational politics of stardom and masculinity in Malayalam cinema, one of the most prolific of the regional film industries in India, with special reference to the rise of Mohanlal as a ‘superstar’. The entry of Mohanlal (Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair, 1960—) into Malayalam cinema as a villain in the early 1980s, his much-praised energetic and performative prowess in a succession of highly successful roles in light-hearted romantic social comedies, and his gradual transformation into the ultimate icon of Malayali masculinity in the 1990s, mark a paradigm shift in the ideology and visual iconography of Malayalam cinema.

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Book chapter / First Malayalam Female Star

Mini, Darshana Sreedhar. ‘Star’s “Dust”: Miss Kumari and the Fossilized Memory of the “First Malayalam Female Star”’.

in Lawrence, Michael, ed. Indian Film Stars: New Critical Perspectives. London: British Film Institute, 2020. pp. 31-44.

Excerpt: Taking a slight detour from prevalent works on stardom in South Indian cinema and female actors in particular, this chapter looks at the star persona of Miss Kumari, the actress whose filmic career and rise to fame was entwined with the success of Merryland studios, one of the foremost studios in Kerala established in 1951. Drawing on archival sources, film texts and interviews, I look at the varied modes through which the figure of the female star emerges in the construction of Miss Kumari as a studio artist.
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