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Imperial Encounters : Religion and Modernity in India and Britain - Peter van der Veer

Imperial Encounters

Religion and Modernity in India and Britain

Paperback Published: 9th April 2001
ISBN: 9780691074788
Number Of Pages: 216

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Picking up on Edward Said's claim that the historical experience of empire is common to both the colonizer and the colonized, Peter van der Veer takes the case of religion to examine the mutual impact of Britain's colonization of India on Indian and British culture. He shows that national culture in both India and Britain developed in relation to their shared colonial experience and that notions of religion and secularity were crucial in imagining the modern nation in both countries. In the process, van der Veer chronicles how these notions developed in the second half of the nineteenth century in relation to gender, race, language, spirituality, and science.

Avoiding the pitfalls of both world systems theory and national historiography, this book problematizes oppositions between modern and traditional, secular and religious, progressive and reactionary. It shows that what often are assumed to be opposites are, in fact, profoundly entangled. In doing so, it upsets the convenient fiction that India is the land of eternal religion, existing outside of history, while Britain is the epitome of modern secularity and an agent of history. Van der Veer also accounts for the continuing role of religion in British culture and the strong part religion has played in the development of Indian civil society. This masterly work of scholarship brings into view the effects of the very close encounter between India and Britain--an intimate encounter that defined the character of both nations.

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 3
Secularity and Religionp. 14
The Separation of Church and Statep. 16
Religionp. 24
Concluding Remarksp. 28
The Moral State: Religion, Nation, and Empirep. 30
The Moral State in Britainp. 34
The Colonial Mission in Indiap. 41
Concluding Remarksp. 53
The Spirits of the Age: Spiritualism and Political Radicalismp. 55
British Spiritsp. 58
India's Spiritual Heritagep. 66
Concluding Remarksp. 77
Moral Muscle: Masculinity and Its Religious Usesp. 83
Muscular Christianityp. 85
Hindustani Honorp. 94
The Internal Enemyp. 101
Concluding Remarksp. 104
Monumental Texts: Orientalism and the Critical Edition of India's National Heritagep. 106
Muuml;ller's Sciencep. 107
India's Adoption of German Wissenschaftp. 116
Texts and the Nationalist Imaginairep. 122
Speaking, Writing, Watchingp. 129
Concluding Remarksp. 131
Aryan Originsp. 134
The Aryan Mythp. 136
From Language to Skullsp. 144
Race, Class and Criminalityp. 150
Concluding Remarksp. 155
Conclusionp. 158
Notesp. 161
Bibliographyp. 179
Indexp. 191
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691074788
ISBN-10: 069107478X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 9th April 2001
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.33