The work presents a novel argument about how Protestant missionary Christianity came to deeply influence Hindu society. The historical backdrop is an integral part of that argument, showing how previous so-called heterodox movements (viz. Buddhism, Janism) have from time to time greatly affected Hinduism, despite its protective wall of caste hierarchy and seemingly monolithic religio-cultural durability. That Protestant Christianity in this context should have succeeded as it did in penetrating the Tamil Hindu society in Sri Lanka is due chiefly to the
sannyasic image of its missionaries.
The work is in effect a comparative study in religious phenomena. The study makes a major contribution to scholarly understanding of Christian mission and colonialism in the subcontinent, and Tamil history and sociology in Sri Lanka.