Nathaniel Roberts's To Be Cared For makes an excellent contribution to the long history of the anthropology of Indian Christianity. In this engaged ethnography and elegantly argued book about the lives of Dalit Pentecostal Christians in a slum (“Anbu Nagar”) in Chennai, he focuses on how a small community of Dalits conceptualize and negotiate with caste and give meaning to religion. He shows “why some slum dwellers convert and others do not” (p. 5) and analyzes the unique moral problems and cultural contradictions.

To Roberts, the moral value of care is a constellation of interrelated words and concepts, which mean “seeing,” “attending to,” love, sympathy, giving aid to, and affection (p. 78). Through these, slum Christians account for their rejection by other Indians. To them, rejection was personally humiliating. By underlining themselves as simply human and nothing more, slum Christians connected to global humanity. Upper castes could not do so...

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