Was Hinduism Invented?: Britons, Indians, and the Colonial Construction of Religion
Oxford University Press, 2005 M04 28 - 260 pages
Drawing on a large body of previously untapped literature, including documents from the Church Missionary Society and Bengali newspapers, Brian Pennington offers a fascinating 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-worship, sati, tolerance, and conversion.
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I am writing this review because a couple of folk in Talk asked me to; I don't think I have much to contribute -- more of a thumbs up than a substantive evaluation. My interest: My religion is my ... Read full review
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ancient Anglican Anti-Catholicism Asiatic Society Asiatick Researches Asiatick Society authority Bengal Bhabanicaran brahman Brian K Britain British India Britons Buchanan Calcutta Candrika¯’s Carey caste Catholic character Chris Christianity in India Church Missionary Society claim Clapham Sect classes colonial Comaroff communities concept construction of Hinduism critical culture Delhi described Dharma Dharma Sabha discourse divine Druids Dubois duism early East India elite encounter English European evangelical foreign heathen Hindoos Hindu nation Hindu-Christian Hindus and Christians historians human ideas identity ideology idolatry images imagined Indomania Indophobia issue John Jones’s journal knowledge kulin laborers literature London McCutcheon mission Missionary Papers modern moral native nineteenth century Orientalist Oxford pagan political poor popular postcolonial Protestant reform religion religious studies representation rite ritual Sama¯ca¯r Candrika Sanskrit satı scholars Serampore social Society’s spiritual study of religion subcontinent texts theological tion University Press Ward Ward’s western Wilberforce Wilford William Jones William Wilberforce worship