Social Scientist. v 7, no. 77 (Dec 1978) p. 64.


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BOOK REVIEW

Review Article

Religion^ Development and Political Organisation

GABRIELE DIETRICH, RELIGION AND PEOPLE'S ORGANIZATION IN EAST THANJAVUR, Christian Literature Society, Madras 1977, Rs 13.50.

IN recent years, a process of radicalization among new and growing ranks of the people in a large number of capitalist countries has been observed. This trend has been apparent not only among such sections as students, intellectuals, wbite-GoHaj employees and professionals but also within certain old-established institutions. An important example is the Christian Church which, in the recent past, has been subject to a number of sharp inner contradictions and tensions as newly radicalised and fighting sections of the people have come to challenge old beliefs and practices. Consequently, the range of anti-revolutionary positions and dogmas that are the property of the Church, and particularly the concern to protect the existing social order from disturbing social trends, has come under increasing attack from those who consider themselves as Christian radicals. These sections and groups in different parts of the capitalist world have argued that the toiling people themselves, through their own mass organizations, must seek to take command of their conditions of life and work. Some among them go further by emphasising that only through struggle and a fundamental change in the existing socio-economic and political order can the masses achieve a lasting improvement in their lives.

In India, the growth of radicalised sections within the Church has expressed itself in the conscious effort of some Christ-ians to come closer to the left and democratic movement through, for example, the organization and method of a ^Christian-Marxist dialogue". In addition, bodies such as the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS) which is based in Bang-



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