This book re-examines the issue of religious conversion, which has been a site of conflict in India for several centuries. It discusses wide-ranging themes such as conversion, education, and reform in colonial India; the process and practices of conversion in Christian Europe; Gandhi, conversion, and the equality of religions; perspectives from Hindu nationalism, secularism, and religious minorities; religious freedom and the limits of propagating religion; and conversion in constitutional law, commissions, and courts, to chart new directions for research on religion, tradition, and conversion. Tracing developments from the 19th-century colonial era to contemporary times, the book analyses cultural background frameworks and the origins of religious conversion and its conceptualisation in Western Christianity. It further delves into how Indian culture and its traditions have shaped responses to conversion.
Part of the Critical Humanities Across Cultures series, this book will be useful to scholars and researchers of critical humanities, religion, cultural studies, sociology of religion, comparative religion, philosophy, anthropology, theology, Indology, history, politics, postcolonial studies, critical theory, and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The Issue of Conversion in India
2. Conversion, Education, and Reform in Colonial India
3. The Process of Conversio in Christian Europe
4. Gandhi, Conversion, and the Equality of Religions
5. Religious Freedom and the Limits of Propagation
Sarah Claerhout is an independent researcher working within the Comparative Science of Cultures research programme. She obtained her doctoral degree at Ghent University, Belgium, and has published several journal articles and book chapters and given lectures on religious conversion, Gandhi’s thought on religion and conversion, religious violence, inter-religion dialogue, and related themes. She has worked as a postdoctoral research and teaching assistant at the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap, Ghent University, Belgium.
Jakob De Roover is Associate Professor at the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap, Ghent University, Belgium. He is the author of Europe, India, and the Limits of Secularism (2015). His research concerns the comparative study of politics, culture, and religion in Europe and India. He completed his PhD in the Comparative Science of Cultures. He has been a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and a research assistant professor at Ghent University, Belgium.