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Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu – American Representations of India, 1721-1893 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893

Michael J. Altman


In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Americans did not write about Hinduism. They did write a lot about India, however. In their representations of India, American writers described “heathens,” “Hindoos,” and, eventually, “Hindus.” Before Americans wrote about “Hinduism,” they wrote about “heathenism,” “the religion of the Hindoos,” and “Brahmanism.” This book argues that Americans debated the nature of religion, sought alternatives to American Protestantism, and hailed the supremacy of white Protestant American identity through their representations of religion in India. Representation ... More

Keywords: Hinduism, religion, heathen, Protestant, American identity, Comparative religion, American history, India

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190654924
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190654924.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael J. Altman, author
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Alabama