Western Foundations of the Caste System

  • Martin Fárek
  • Dunkin Jalki
  • Sufiya Pathan
  • Prakash Shah

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Martin Fárek, Dunkin Jalki, Sufiya Pathan, Prakash Shah
    Pages 1-30
  3. S. N. Balagangadhara
    Pages 31-55
  4. Prakash Shah
    Pages 85-126
  5. Marianne Keppens
    Pages 221-251
  6. Martin Fárek, Dunkin Jalki, Sufiya Pathan, Prakash Shah
    Pages 253-261
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 263-274

About this book


This book argues that the dominant descriptions of the ‘caste system’ are rooted in the Western Christian experience of India. Thus, caste studies tell us more about the West than about India. It further demonstrates the imperative to move beyond this scholarship in order to generate descriptions of Indian social reality.


The dominant descriptions of the ‘caste system’ that we have today are results of originally Christian themes and questions. The authors of this collection show how this hypothesis can be applied beyond South Asia to the diasporic cultures that have made a home in Western countries, and how the inheritance of caste studies as structured by European scholarship impacts on our understanding of contemporary India and the Indians of the diaspora.


This collection will be of interest to scholars and students of caste studies, India studies, religion in South Asia, postcolonial studies, history, anthropology and sociology.


Orientalism Indian history Theology Post-Colonialism Social Anthropology Sociology India

Editors and affiliations

  • Martin Fárek
    • 1
  • Dunkin Jalki
    • 2
  • Sufiya Pathan
    • 3
  • Prakash Shah
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and PhilosophyUniversity of PardubicePardubiceCzech Republic
  2. 2.CIRHS, SDMESUjireIndia
  3. 3.CIRHS, SDMESUjireIndia
  4. 4.Department of LawQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-38760-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-38761-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site