Protestant Christianity in the Indian Diaspora

Abjected Identities, Evangelical Relations, and Pentecostal Visions

By Robbie B. H. Goh

Subjects: India And South Asian Studies, Anthropology Of Religion, Christianity, Asian Studies
Hardcover : 9781438469430, 284 pages, February 2018
Paperback : 9781438469423, 284 pages, January 2019

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Protestant Christianity in the Indian Diaspora: the Nature and Scope of this Project

1. The Christians of India: Religious Identities, Communal Feeling, and the Dialectics of (Dis)Engagement

2. The (Re)Constitution of Regional/Communal Identities in the Indian Christian Diaspora: Cultural Negotiation, Familial Tensions, Pentecostal/Evangelical Influences

3. Insistent Ruths: Women, Marriage, and Gendered Spiritual Roles

4. Leaps of Faith: Evangelicalism and/or Pentecostalism, Supernatural Transformations, and Transnationalism

5. “India” in the Diasporic Imaginary: Christianity, Class, Values, and Religious Affect

Conclusion: Indian Christians: (Not) At Home in the World


Captures how Indian Protestant Christians negotiate their religious and cultural identities within the Indian diaspora.


This is the first comprehensive study of Protestant Christian religious identities in the Indian diaspora. Using qualitative interview methods, Robbie B. H. Goh captures the experiences of Indian Protestants in ten different countries and regions, describing how Indian communal Christian identities are negotiated and transformed in a variety of diasporic contexts ranging from Canada to Qatar. Goh argues that Christianity in India, developed within discrete and varied "ecologies," translates in the diaspora into a model of small communal churches that struggle with issues of community maintenance, evangelical growth, and Pentecostal influences. He looks at the significance of Christianity's "abject" position in India, the interplay and tension between evangelicalism and Pentecostalism, Pentecostalism's insistence on religious endogamy (particularly among women), intrareligious differences along generational lines, the actions of Hindutva hard-line elements, and other factors, in the construction and transformation of diasporic religious identities and affective attachments to India.

Robbie B. H. Goh is Professor of English Literature and Cultural Studies at the National University of Singapore. He is the author and editor of several books, including Christianity in Southeast Asia.