More Information
ISBN: 9781839735349
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 9
Publication Date: 30/06/2022
Pages: 168
Series: Global Perspectives Series
Language: English

Voices from the Margins

Wisdom of Primal Peoples in the Era of World Christianity


The wisdom of tribal peoples has often been overlooked, both within the church and outside of it. However as the ideologies of consumerism, free market individualism, and nationalism grow more and more dominant across the globe, with devastating implications for our planet’s shared future, it has become ever more urgent to make space for voices from the margins – voices offering alternative frameworks for understanding the nature of existence, spirituality, and what it means to be human.

This book draws together contributors from diverse tribal and denominational backgrounds to reflect on the future of Christianity in Northeast India, a region rich in ancient myths, oral traditions, and a vibrant awareness of both the spiritual realm and the embeddedness of humans within creation. Joining a wider conversation regarding the integration of Christianity and primal traditions, the authors wrestle with crucial questions surrounding identity and the challenges of contextualizing the gospel in relation to their own languages, cultures, and traditions. Looking both backwards and forwards, they provide insight into the history of Christianity in tribal contexts, while exploring the vital significance of recovering and transmitting indigenous knowledge and the profound perspective it offers the church into the significance of Christ and his gospel.

Author Bios

Jangkholam Haokip
(Edited By)

JANGKHOLAM HAOKIP holds a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and an MTh from the United Theological College, India. He is a faculty member at Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India and is also involved with integral mission and social justice projects among disadvantaged minority communities in India. He has previously served as a pastor of an emerging church in Pune, India, called the ‘Kuki Worship Service’, was one of the founding members of a holistic discipleship centre called ‘Som-Inn’, and has also worked with Operation Mobilisation in India. Dr Haokip is married to Laljem Haokip who is a medical doctor and active mission supporter.

David W. Smith
(Edited By)

David W. Smith spent eleven years as a pastor in the heart of Cambridge, UK, until he sailed to Africa with his young family in a Nigerian cargo ship to work in the rain forest and burgeoning cities of Africa. After returning to the UK with a host of questions, he earned a PhD in Secularization and Evangelicalism under Professor Andrew Walls at Aberdeen University. He later spent time in various leadership roles at theological institutions across the UK, where he made a significant contribution to the field of missiology.


This collection of essays helps to rescue the Christian traditions of Northeast India from their supposed marginality. It also brings to light rich resources of oral wisdom from a variety of indigenous peoples which deserve the attention of all Christians, and indeed of the whole human family.

Brian Stanley, PhD
University of Edinburgh, UK

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Contributors
  3. Part One: Primal Traditions and Christianity
    1. The Tribal Peoples of Northeast India Virginius Xaxa
    2. Unleashing the Power of Orality, Myth and Folklore Charles B. Madinger and Rocelyn Anog-Madinger
    3. West African Insights on Ethnic Identity, Myth and Sacred Time James R. Krabill
    4. The Crucial Role of the Arts in the Identity of Indigenous Peoples in the Southern Philippines Rocelyn Anog-Madinger
  4. Part Two: Primal Traditions and Christianity in Northeast India
    1. Toward a Kuki Contextual Theology of Khankho Jangkholam Haokip
    2. The Quest for Meaning in Boro Orality Songram Basumatary
    3. The Inculturation of Christianity among the Khasi People of Meghalaya State Fabian Lyngdoh
    4. The Integration of Khasi Traditional Music in the Christian Churches of Shillong, Meghalaya Donovan K. Swer and Maribon Viray
    5. Myth in Kuki Tradition – The Search for Meaning Fr. Peter Haokip
    6. The Relevance of Spirit Consciousness for Tribal Christians in Northeast India Elungkiebe Zeliang
    7. The Emergence of World Christianity and Its Implications for Indigenous Peoples David W. Smith
  5. Postscript: When the Saints Come Marching in Jangkholam Haokip and David W. Smith


James R. Krabill

JAMES R. KRABILL served with the Mennonite Board of Missions and Mennonite Mission Network for over forty years, first as a missionary in Europe and Africa, then as director for West Africa, vice president of mission advocacy and communication, and senior executive for global ministries. He has a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the Centre for West African Studies, University of Birmingham, UK, and has written extensively on missions, music, arts, and worship.

Basumatary Songram

Songram Basumatary is Principal of the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute, Chennai.

Virginius Xaxa

Virginius Xaxa is Visiting Professor at the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi.

Charles B. Madinger

Charles Madinger, is Founder and CEO of the Institute for Orality Strategies (IOS) and Director of the International Orality Network.

Rocelyn Anog-Madinger

Rocelyn Anog-Madinger is SIL Philippines Ethno-Arts Consultant and President of the Institute for Orality Strategies.

Fabian Lyngdoh

Fabian Lyngdoh is former Professor and Head of the Centre for Cultural Study and Community Initiatives at Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong.

Donovan K. Swer

Donovan Swer is Assistant Professor of Music at Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong.

Maribon Viray

Maribon Vinay is Research Dean and Associate Professor of Psychology at Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong.

Peter Haokip

Peter Haokip is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Imphal, Manipur. He has taught Bible, Latin, Hebrew, and tribal theology at Oriens Theological College, Shillong.

Elungkiebe Zeliang

Elungkiebe Zeliang is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Conflict Management and Peace Initiatives at Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong.

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