Castes, religions and the sacred in Kerala (South India) : Christians in a multi-caste and pluri-religious society
With a history going back two thousand years, the Christians of Kerala (South India) are divided among several Churches and into endogamous groups to be found in varying proportions in each of the different Churches. It is first shown how these endogamous groups form the same number of castes and that there exists only one caste society in Kerala which groups together everybody regardless of their religions beliefs. Then, in order to identify the existence of castes in non-hindu groups, it is taken into consideration that a sacred exists in the terms of Durkheim, wherein ail beliefs are shared by everyone, before the religious fields are differentiated into instituted religions. This sacred is the fundament of social bonds.