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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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Missionaries, Mystics and Mill-Owners

Missionaries, Mystics and Mill-Owners

(p.141) 4 Missionaries, Mystics and Mill-Owners
Terrains of Exchange

Nile Green

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how Muslim religious entrepreneurs created new forms of Islam, and new Muslim religious firms, as a result of their interaction with Christian missionaries. Focusing on the fringes of the British Empire in the Indian princely state of Hyderabad, the chapter reveals the mechanics of religious exchange as a process of competition, adaptation and differentiation. By comparing the evangelical techniques of a British representative of the Church Missionary Society with a Sufi religious entrepreneur funded by local industrialists, the chapter shows the specific strategies of Christian and Muslim competitors operating in a quasi-colonial terrain of exchange. Although Muslims themselves see religious “innovation” as a negative asset, by working through the logic of religious economy the chapter argues that innovation - and, hence, religious change - was an important aspect of the Muslim religious response to both Christian colonialism and industrial modernity. By tracing transnational exchange in a local setting, the chapter in this way demonstrates how global history can be written from the microhistorical “bottom up.”

Keywords:   Islam, Sufism, religious Economy, microhistory, global history, colonialism, industrialization, missionaries, India, Hyderabad

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