An AltaMira Press Book Located at the intersection of the sociology of popular religion and the dynamics of social transformation, this study examines the processes of conversion, continuity and change in a Goan Catholic community. The analysis shifts from a focus on the historical encounter and engagement between missionary and indigenous people in Goa to a consideration, through ethnographic material, of present-day patterns and modes of persistence and change in a rural Catholic community. The author examines individual and collective ritual modes and issues of caste conflict as manifested in church celebration. The issues discussed include kinship and the implication of Catholicism for rules of marriage, ideas about inheritance and gender, reasons for conversion, and the clash of traditions. Overall, this book provides a rich analysis of the interplay between Christianity and colonialism as well as the emerging disharmony of tradition in a new social context. It also explores issues relating to the sociological study of convert communities in India in a comparative perspective.
Encounter and Engagement
The `Present', the People, the Place
Ceremony and Conflict in the Church
By Way of a Conclusion