‘Spatial’ Inscriptions of Kerala: The Historical and Sociocultural Context of Catholic Syrian Christians
Gender and space being intrinsically connected within a patriarchal cultural framework, the notion of space is taken as a critical category of analysis in this chapter. The spatial inscriptions of Kerala, its landscape and evolutionary story, its human geography delineated by class and caste factors, and its distinctive development pattern demarcate the socio-economic and cultural context of the Syrian Christian community. Though a unique configuration of diverse factors marks the genealogy of this community, its ‘caste consciousness’ is of hermeneutical import since caste and gender are related constructs in the hierarchical ordering of social space. The identity construction of Catholic Syrian Christian women is set within the meanings and values embedded into religious ethos of the Syrian Christian community in its intersectionality of caste and religion with gender.