Reform, Identity and Narratives of Belonging focuses on the Heraka, a religious reform movement, and its impact on the Zeme, a Naga tribe, in the North Cachar Hills of Assam, India. Drawing upon critical studies of religion, cultural/ethnic identity, and nationalism, archival research in both India and Britain, and fieldwork in Assam, the book initiates new grounds for understanding the evolving notions of reform and identity in the emergence of a Heraka religion. Arkotong Longkumer argues that reform and identity are dynamically inter-related and linked to the revitalisation and negotiation of both tradition legitimising indigeneity, and change legitimising reform. The results have deepened, yet challenged, not only prevailing views of the Western construction of the category religion but also understandings of how marginalised communities use collective historical imagination to inspire self-identification through the discourse of religion. In conclusion, this book argues for a re-evaluation of the way in which multi-religious traditions interact to reshape identities and belongings.

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