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Was Hinduism Invented? – Britons, Indians, and the Colonial Construction of Religion - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Was Hinduism Invented?: Britons, Indians, and the Colonial Construction of Religion

Brian K. Pennington


Is “Hinduism” a legitimate term for the widely varying religious practices of India that are commonly called by that name? The appearance of “religion” as a category comprising a set of practices and beliefs allegedly found in every culture dates from the modern period, emerging as Europe expanded trade abroad and established its first colonial relations in the 17th and 18th centuries. Hinduism emerged in the encounter between modernity’s greatest colonial power, Great Britain, and the jewel of her imperial crown, India. Around the turn of the 19th century, officials of the British colonial st ... More

Keywords: Hinduism, missionaries, India, Great Britain, colonialism, Calcutta, evangelical Christianity, Orientalism, inter-religious dialogue, post-colonial theory

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780195166552
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005 DOI:10.1093/0195166558.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Brian K. Pennington, author
Maryville College
Author Webpage