More Information
ISBN: 9781783689811
Imprint: Langham Academic
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 20
Publication Date: 14/08/2014
Pages: 378
Series: Studies in Theology
Language: English

Can God Save My Village?

A Theological Study of Identity among the Tribal People of North-East India with a Special Reference to the Kukis of Manipur


The introduction of Christianity by missionaries in North-East India, without ignoring the positive contribution, failed to provide a sound theological foundation for the people of this region in their quest for identity and liberation. In this publication, the author, a native of the region, investigates the struggle for identity among the tribal people of North-East India and more particularly the Kuki people of Manipur. Exploring the social, cultural, religious and political changes brought to the people of this region the book highlights their real struggle for justice and dignity. Outlining aspects of the Kuki tradition, as well as dialoguing with Dalit and tribal theology the author proposes possible contributions to a local theology that can help in shaping a new sense of identity for the tribal people of North-East India.

Author Bios

Jangkholam Haokip

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.


Rethinking traditional theology puts the identity of the people in crisis, but at the same time it reaffirms the necessity of local theologies in sustaining the cause of marginalized people. These days many such local theologies are being written that shall eventually enrich the theological spectrum of the 21st century. Dr Jangkholam Haokip has done an excellent job by documenting the theological voice of ‘Kukis’ of Manipur in India. In him I see a rising star of the theological world of North-East India provided he continues his work of theologizing from Kuki perspective with the same verve and spirit.

Professor Dr (Habil) James Massey
Director of Centre for Dalit/Minorities Studies (T),
New Delhi

Dr Jangkholam Haokip, in this significant monograph, discusses historical, sociopolitical and theological perspectives on the Christian identity of the Kuki people and presents a theology of identity drawn from his interaction with Dalit theology and tribal theology. This book contains rich material which is thoroughly researched, clearly presented and convincingly argued. It should therefore be on any must-read list for theology and mission studies in India.

Professor Sebastian Kim
Chair in Theology and Public Life,
York St John University

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Abstract
  3. Acknowledgements
  4. Abbreviations
  5. Introductions
  6. Part One: Setting the Scene
  7. Chapter 1
    1. Survey of the Geography and History of North-East India in Ancient Times; The State of Manipur – Its Peoples and the Socio-Political and Cultural Context
      1. 1. 1. The Pre-Colonial Context
      2. 1. 2. The British Annexation
      3. 1. 3. The Post-Independence Experience
      4. 1. 4. Tribal Situation in Manipur
      5. Conclusion
  8. Chapter 2
    1. Concept of Identity: A Sociological Study
      1. 2.1 Defining Identity
      2. 2.2 Context and Identity Construction
      3. 2.3 Indigeneity, Indigenouse of Indigenous People
      4. 2.4 Challenges and Opportunities in North-East India
  9. Part Two: Kuki People and Their Struggle for Identity
  10. Chapter 3
    1. The Kuki People or Manipur and Their Struggle for Identity
      1. 3.1 An Overview of the Kuki People: The Background
      2. 3.2 The Kukis of Manipur: Origin and Settlement
      3. 3.3 The Kuki Traditional Society
      4. 3.4 The New Administration and Kuki Identity
  11. Chapter 4
    1. History of Evangelization: A Study of Christianity among the Kukis of Manipur in Relation to Their Identity Crisis
      1. 4.1 The Background
      2. 4.2 The Coming of Christianity to Manipur
      3. 4.3 The Work of Evangelization
      4. 4.4 The Role of Colonial Rule in Mission
      5. 4.5 The Work of Evangelization Among the Kukis
      6. 4.6 Christianity from Kuki Identity Viewpoint
  12. Part Three: A Theological Response
  13. Chapter 5
    1. Dalit Theology in Response to Dalit Struggle for Identity
      1. 5.1 The Context of Dalit Theology
      2. 5.2 Methodological Concerns of Dalit Theology
      3. 5.3 An Evaluation from a Tribal Perspective
  14. Chapter 6
    1. Towards a Theology of Identity in Kuki Context
      1. 6.1 Theology and Cultural Identity in North-East India: Current Scenario
      2. 6.2 Biblical Basis for a Theology of Identity
      3. 6.3 Proposals for doing Theology in Kuki Context of Identity Struggle
      4. 6.4 Theology of Identity and Identity Construction
  15. Conclusion
  16. Bibliography
  17. Appendix 1
    1. The Tribal Population of Manipur in 2001
  18. Appendix 2
    1. Operations Against Kuki Tribes
  19. Appendix 3
    1. The Five Hill Districts of Manipur and their Population
  20. Appendix 4
    1. Lists of Schedule Tribes in Different States of North-East India
  21. Appendix 5
    1. Letter of Directors to Revs. D E. Jones and Dr Fraser on 16 February 1912
  22. Appendix 6
    1. Letter of Roberts to Fraser
  23. Appendix 7
    1. Letter to Fraser to Rev. T. W. Reese
  24. Appendix 8
    1. Sunrise in Manipur