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Terrains of ExchangeReligious Economies of Global Islam$
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Nile Green

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190222536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190222536.001.0001

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Parnassus Of The Evangelical Empire

Parnassus Of The Evangelical Empire

(p.43) 1 Parnassus Of The Evangelical Empire
Terrains of Exchange

Nile Green

Oxford University Press

Challenging the basic assumptions of Edward Said that orientalism was a product of the secular Enlightenment, this chapter explores the production of oriental learning in the English universities in the age of ascendant empire. Through demonstrating the definitively evangelical approach to empire of the period’s leading orientalists, the chapter excavates an entire era of orientalism that has been overlooked as a result of the Saidian paradigm. By promoting a “providentialist” reading of the rise of the British Empire, England’s universities exported an ‘evangelical orientalism’ that began a cycle of interactions with Muslims as the target of this Christian conversionism. The chapter argues that, equipped with new language skills and communication technologies, the new Christian missionary firms founded in the years around 1800 acted as catalysts that provoked Muslim religious entrepreneurs to respond by adapting and adopting the missionary techniques of the Christians to create a new evangelical Islam. The chapter in this way shows the role of colonial Christian religious entrepreneurs in generating a new cycle of competitive exchange with Muslims across the expanding British Empire.

Keywords:   Islam, Christianity, Orientalism, evangelicalism, Edward Said, missionaries, empire, religion, translation, colonialism

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