Tribal Literature, Theology & Methodology: Reading Folklore for Developing Tribal Theological Hermeneutics and Literary Criticism
Tribal episteme in general and literature, philosophy, worldview, and theology in particular represent an emerging voice in the Indian and world literary scenes. Tribal literature is unique of the unique due to its very nature as communitarian, land-centred, egalitarian, resistant, outspoken, and shared aesthetic values. It is eco-friendly, pastoral, mystical, nondualistic, essential unity of all realities, and spiritual-mythical conscious. This literature is the voice of the tribal people on their lives, cultures, worldviews, and religions. This book attempts to write and develop hermeneutical tools and literary criticism of Tribal literature. It is a methodological exploration by reading tribal myths and worldviews. The book wrestles with several questions and issues on tribal literature: What is tribal literature? How to formulate tribal hermeneutics and literary criticism? How to systematize or methodize traditional tribal interpretational norms? How the self and the community are connected in tribal literature? How to read text(s) from a woman’s perspective? How to fuse the diverse horizons? And how to liberate and construct the identity and spirituality of the tribal communities in the (post)modern context? This volume asserts that tribal literature is communitarian, mostly folk and oral, liberative, transformative, eco-centred, open-ended, flux, and plurisignal. Contents Acknowledgement Preface List of Abbreviations Introduction 1. What is Tribal Literature? 2. The Need of Tribal Research Methodology 3. Methodology Chapter 1: Research Methodology I: Mythology Introduction 1.1. Meanings of Myth and Mythology 1.2. Origin of Myths 1.3. Types of Myth 1.4. Functions of Myth 1.5. Theories of Myth Conclusion Chapter 2: Research Methodology II: Hermeneutics Introduction 2.1. Meanings of Hermeneutics 2.2. The Four Components of Hermeneutical Enterprises 2.3. Historical Aspects of Hermeneutics 2.4. Modern Hermeneutics Since the Enlightenment Conclusion Chapter 3: Socio-Historical Background of the Liangmai Community and Folklore Introduction 3.1. Preliminary Remark on Sources 3.2. The Liangmai 3.3. Theories on the Origin of the Liangmai 3.4. Migration and Settlements 3.5. Mountain Civilizations 3.6. Social Structures 3.7. Dithincheng (Polity) 3.8. Characheng (Primal Religion) 3.9. Talung Jai (Culture) 3.10. Khiulan Jai (Economy) 3.11. Kati-Tasi Cheng (Education) 3.12. Eco-Consciousness 3.13. Pre-Christian Background of the Liangmai Religion 3.14. Encounter with Colonialism, Christianity, and Modernity Conclusion Chapter 4: Interpretation and Analysis of Liangmai-Naga Traditional Myths Introduction 4.1. Mapping the Liangmai-Naga Traditional Myths 4.2. Impacts of Christianity and Modernity on Traditional Myths 4.3. Contemporary Liangmai-Naga Understanding of Myths 4.4. Certain Presuppositions in the Reading of Myths 4.5. Tingkadipiri Dambo Mari (Creation Myth) 4.6. Chamai Lungkiu Karaibo Mari (Myth of the Early Civilization) 4.7. Charawang Nai Pasingnamai Mari (Myth of Charawang and His Brothers) 4.8. Mang Jouhubo Mari (Myth of the Feast of Merit of Mang) Conclusion Chapter 5: Hermeneutics of Community: Towards a Tribal Literary Criticism and Research Methodology Introduction 5.1. Significance of the Traditional Myths 5.2. Myths as a Source of Episteme and Theology 5.3. The Need for a New Hermeneutics of Culture and Theology 5.4. Towards a Holistic Hermeneutical Enterprise 5.5. Hermeneutics of Community Conclusion Chapter 6: Conclusion Appendix Bibliography Index Dr. M. Maisuangdibou teaches theology, literature and philosophy at the Union Biblical Seminary, Pune. He has three masters (English, Philosophy and Theology), two UGC-NETs (English and Philosophy), and a Doctorate in Theology. He is the author of Tribal Theological Hermeneutics; Liangmai and Christianity; and, Liangmai Narratives. He also contributed various articles to national and international journals. He is a writer, theologian, theoretician and literary critic.