Was Hinduism Invented?: Britons, Indians, and the Colonial Construction of Religion

Was Hinduism Invented?: Britons, Indians, and the Colonial Construction of Religion

by Brian K. Pennington
     
 

Drawing on a large body of previously untapped literature, including documents from the Church Missionary Society and Bengali newspapers, Brian Pennington offers a portrait of the process by which "Hinduism" came into being. He argues against the common idea that the modern construction of religion in colonial India was simply a fabrication of Western Orientalists and… See more details below

Overview

Drawing on a large body of previously untapped literature, including documents from the Church Missionary Society and Bengali newspapers, Brian Pennington offers a portrait of the process by which "Hinduism" came into being. He argues against the common idea that the modern construction of religion in colonial India was simply a fabrication of Western Orientalists and missionaries. Rather, he says, it involved the active agency and engagement of Indian authors as well, who interacted, argued, and responded to British authors over key religious issues such as image-workshop, sati, tolerance, and conversion. Pennington retells the story of Christians' and Hindus' reception of each other in the early nineteenth century in way that takes seriously the power of their religious worldviews to shape the encounter itself and help to produce the very religions that colonialism thought it "discovered."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195326000
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/01/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
260
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

1Introduction3
2The other without and the other within23
3"Scarcely less bloody than lascivious"59
4Polymorphic nature, polytheistic culture, and the orientalist imaginaire101
5Constructing colonial dharma in Calcutta139
6Colonial legacies : some concluding thoughts167

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