"A major contibution to the anthropology of Christianity but also to the wider anthropology of religion as well as gender, class, and postcolonialism."—Anthropology Review Database
"Roberts shows [that] difference is not always measured, valued, or materialized in the same way across diverse contexts, and it may not always be an inherently or self-evidently desirable thing. Our keenness to celebrate and protect identity-based plurality should not blind us to the fact that there are those (such as Roberts’ co-residents) for whom the attribution of difference can be both unwanted and detrimental; for whom salvation and liberation lie not in the acknowledgement of their distinctiveness but in the recognition of their sameness, their common humanity."—Marginalia - Los Angeles Review of Books
"To be Cared For
is a richly layered critique of elite discourses and anxieties about caste and conversion in India through a moving and insightful ethnography of religious practices and morality among the profoundly dispossessed. At once about caste, gender, hunger, injustice, and caring, this beautifully written book carries an analytical heft rarely seen in such grounded ethnographies."
—Raka Ray, Professor of Sociology and South and Southeast Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley
"This is a remarkable book, supported by painstaking ethnographic research and written with clarity and sensitivity. To Be Cared For
takes a hugely complex subject and gives us new points of departure. It shows how anthropological approaches to religion, identity, and conversion need to change. It helps the reader rethink the nature of religion, culture, and truth—matters urgent to people facing discrimination, extreme poverty, and acute uncertainty."
—David Mosse, Professor of Anthropology, School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London
"This remarkable ethnography tells a fascinating story with critical skill and compassion. Religion here is how people live, not what official doctrine says. Nathaniel Roberts gives us a complicated picture of moral contradictions and religious insights. This book is essential reading for anthropologists and others interested in the roles of religion in the modern world."
—Talal Asad, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, the Graduate Center, City University of New York