Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Company-StateCorporate Sovereignty and the Early Modern Foundations of the British Empire in India$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip J. Stern

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195393736

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393736.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 January 2022

“The Most Sure and Profitable Sort of Merchandice”

“The Most Sure and Profitable Sort of Merchandice”

Protestantism and Piety

(p.100) 5 “The Most Sure and Profitable Sort of Merchandice”
The Company-State

Philip J. Stern

Oxford University Press

Confronting enduring historiographical assumptions that hold that the East India Company’s policies and attitudes were hostile or ambivalent towards religion, this chapter argues that religion was in fact central to the Company’s constitution and political thought in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. While emphasizing the importance of toleration as a key principle of political economy, essential for cultivating populous and commercially vibrant settlements, Company leaders exhibited a serious commitment to protecting and preserving Protestantism in Asia. Its leaders wrote in the languages of religion, apparently deeply invested in the notion of Providence and the role of God in shaping its establishment abroad. They also understood, like many in the early modern world, that supervision over religion was a critical aspect of sovereignty and a fundamental duty of government. Company policy established and governed standards for religious worship and moral behavior, in another attempt to cultivate virtuous and obedient settlers. It also sought to curb the influence of Catholicism and Islam in its settlements, and promoted the establishment of chaplaincies, churches, and even a form of proselytizing especially amongst those non-Protestant settlers in its colonies.

Keywords:   religion, sovereignty, Protestantism, Catholicism, Islam, Toleration, proselytizing

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .