ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dissecting ‘Modern’ Syrian Christianity


Privileged Minorities: Syrian Christianity, Gender, and Minority Rights in Postcolonial India by Sonja Thomas, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2018; pp 210, `995.

Persisting Patriarchy: Intersectionalities, Negotiations, Subversions by Kochurani Abraham, Switzerland AG: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019; pp 201, €84.99.

Every Family Its Own Historian?

Upper-caste Syrian Christian family histories variously comprise the reconstructions of popular beliefs; family and church genealogies claiming Brahminic and apostolic origins; biographies of prominent family members; discussions on the crisis of national and global migration; purity of race and blood; descriptions of relationships with other social groups; road maps and visions for the future; endogamous family directories; popular bedtime stories, among others. These family historians select the most desirable facts, figures, myths, and legends to present a strange blend of facts and fancies. This paper explores how the Syrian Christians mobilise, conceive, and position their histories within the social matrix of Kerala and their ideological uses for identity politics.

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