|Sold By||SAGE Publications India|
|Author||Geoffrey A. Oddie|
|Category||Religion,Hinduism in India,construction of missionary models,brahman-controlled `system|
Drawing upon missionary writings, Geoffrey Oddie shows how the early view of Hinduism as pagan or heathen settled into the dominant paradigm of Hinduism as a unitary, brahman-controlled `system`, ridden with idolatry, ritualism, superstition and sexual licence. This `other` was compared with evangelical Christianity, in which inward devotion counted for more than outward ritual, and where the individual was free from oppression and `priestcraft`.
Finally, this book looks at the impact of these representations of Hinduism in India and the West. By the late nineteenth century, as the author demonstrates, the missionaries` increasing acquaintance with Hinduism not only prompted a more sympathetic approach, but also a revision of the unitary model. Some even spoke of `the many Hindu religions`. Among Hindu leaders, in contrast, the notion of being Hindu and of Hinduism as one system had taken hold.
Issues of topical interest discussed in this book include the nature of knowledge, nations of religion, concept of Hinduism, the Orientalism debate, and the relationship between Missionaries and empire. This fascinating and thorough work of scholarship will appeal to all those interested in South Asian history, religion and society, as well as to students and scholars of anthropology, theology, philosophy, intellectual history and Political Science.