4 2 2016

Unsung melodies from margins - By Antony John Baptist

Michael T Balonek


In modern India of 2016, the question as to whether caste is still a moral issue or a political tactic is fiercely debated. The ruling political party and their supporters insist that caste is no longer a relevant issue today, whereas others say that caste affects every aspect of their lives. Debates about caste in India have been happening for at least a hundred years, but this is a pressing issue today for those that feel they have been downtrodden and discriminated against.

Into this backdrop, Dr. A. J. Baptist wrote this book, looking at feminism and “Dalit (“down-trodden”) Feminism,” and advocating for a “Dalit Feminist Biblical Scholarship” to be accepted and championed by the nations. He looks at traditional ways of looking at certain texts, and then, teaching about “subaltern hermeneutics,” looks at the same text from the point of view of oppressed women. He also looks to combat the notion that the Bible is necessarily anti-women, looking again at texts from two different viewpoints. Also included are stories of oppression that modern Dalit women do face.

In general, though a few sections do seem to not match the theme of the rest of the book, this work advocates for giving voices to “the voiceless,” and allowing them to thrive. It seems that it would be especially pertinent to Indologists, missiologists, theologians, feminist advocates, and advocates for Dalit rights.

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Baptist, Antony John. (2014), Unsung Melodies from Margins, New Delhi: ISPCK


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