“His Beautiful Face Obscured by the Blood-Red”: Christological Ruminations in the Lujam Songs of the Rongmei Nagas

Published (only in print): July 2022

Journal of Tribal Studies, XXVI Nos. 1 & 2 ISSN: 2277-6605

Art by Jang Gangmei Arts

This paper seeks to identify and evaluate the “living and breathing” Christological expressions in the lujam, which is a tradition of indigenous devotional songs of the Rongmei Nagas in north-east India. Despite the lack of explicit theological texts among the Rongmei Christians, there are rich Christological themes articulated in the lujam. This paper does not attempt to construct Christological concepts but simply to identify and evaluate them theologically as implicit in the lujam songs. Two overarching themes, that I will refer to as, “man of sorrows” and “eschatological Christ” are identified. They will then be evaluated against the theological insights of Naga tribal theologians and the wider Christological reflections from global Christianity. In light of the evaluation, a double-edged relationship between Christology and history/culture is recognised – that of continuity and transcendence. Finally, the paper proposes some concluding reflections on the trajectory of Zeliangrong Christological project.

An earlier version of this paper is published for free in Academia.edu.

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