Rethinking religious conversion: missionary endeavor and religious response among the Zo (Chin) of the India-Burma borderland

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Authors
Pau, Pum K.
Issue Date
2012
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Journal Article
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Abstract
In the late nineteenth century Christian missionaries landed in a remote corner of India-Burma to seek converts in a "heathen" land, known as Chin Hills, now Chin State of Burma. The Christian mission was an extension of the American Baptist Mission, which had already been working in different parts of Burma and among different ethnic groups since the arrival of Adoniram Judson in 1813. This paper explores how the "incoming message" brought by the missionaries coped with a well-entrenched indigenous society and cosmology, and examines the role played by a contemporaneous indigenous socio-religious reform movement, spearheaded by Pau Cin Hau, in the conversion of the Zo (Chins) to Christianity. It argues that it is not historically correct to look at conversion only from the perspective of the "agents" without an in depth study of traditional belief and practices. In the case of the Zo, a careful analysis needs to be done because of the existence of an indigenous movement vis-�-vis the Christian mission.
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Pau, Pum Khan. (2012), Rethinking religious conversion: missionary endeavor and religious response among the Zo (Chin) of the India-Burma borderland. Journal of Religion & Society, 14.
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Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke Center, Creighton University
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The journal is open-access and freely allows users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of all published material for personal or academic purposes.
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1522-5658
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