Religion, Science and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India

By: Peter Gottschalk

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Book Condition: New

Peter Gottschalk offers a compelling study of how, through the British implementation of scientific taxonomy in the subcontinent, Britons and Indians identified an inherent divide between mutually antagonistic religious communities. England's ascent to power coincided with the rise of empirical science as an authoritative way of knowing not only the natural world, but the human one as well. The British scientific passion for classification, combined with the Christian impulse to differentiate people according to religion, led to a designation of Indians as either Hindu or Muslim according to rigidly defined criteria that paralleled classification in botanical and zoological taxonomies. Through an historical and ethnographic study of the north Indian village of Chainpur, Gottschalk shows that the Britons' presumed categories did not necessarily reflect the Indians' concepts of their own identities, though many Indians came to embrace this scientism and gradually accepted the categories the British instituted through projects like the Census of India, the Archaeological Survey of India, and the India Museum. Today's propogators of Hindu-Muslim violence often cite scientistic formulations of difference that descend directly from the categories introduced by imperial Britain. Religion, Science, and Empire will be a valuable resource to anyone interested in the colonial and postcolonial history of religion in India. Salient Features Provides a new, grassroots examination of the British and Indian construction of Hindu-Muslim difference Demonstrates how disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, and demographics have portrayed Indians as an inherently religious people Shows how these how these disciplines and their religious categorization of Indians relied upon both Christian and scientific forms of classification Table of Contents Acknowledgements List of Illustrations Glossaries Note on Transliteration Foreword by Peter Lake Introduction Chapter One: Religion, Science, and Scientism Chapter Two: Cartography, the Ideal of Science, and the Place of Religion First Interlude: The Dynamics of Comparison and Classification Chapter Three: Christocentric Travel Writing: Dynamics of Comparison and Classification Second Interlude: The Five Modes of Comparison Chapter Four: Humanist Travel Writing: Ascent of Empiricism and the On the Spot Third Interlude: Classification in the Natural Sciences Chapter Five: Categories to Count On: Religion and Caste in the Census Chapter Six: A Raja, a Ghost, and a Tribe: Studies in Ethnology, Folklore, and Religion Chapter Seven: Popularizing Chainpur's Past: Archaeology in Place and in Museums Chapter Eight: Chainpur Today Conclusion Appendices Notes Index Printed Pages: 416.

Title: Religion, Science and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India

Author Name: Peter Gottschalk

Categories: Islam, India, Religion, History, Culture, and Politics, Hinduism,

Publisher: Oxford University Press:

ISBN: 0195393015

ISBN 13: 9780195393019

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Jacket Condition: New

Size: 16 x 24 Cm

Seller ID: 037684

Keywords: Religion Science Empire Hinduism Islam British India