The book deals with the long and rich scholarship on India in France since the beginning of 19th Century, with particular reference to the work of Louis Dumont. It considers the works of scholars and the essayists, poets, or esotericists who published on India and shows that Dumont has been influenced by both groups. The book draws on archives and empirical material.
PART I - GENESIS OF A LEARNED MILIEU 1. The conquest of scholarly legitimacy 2. Orientalism and prophetic discourse 3. The struggle for institutional autonomy. PART II - SCHOLARS AND PROPHETS 4. The field of production of discourses on India 5. Scholarly practice 6. Prophetic Logic 7. Study of Hinduism as a disciplinary issue. PART III - SOCIAL SCIENCE AND INDIGENOUS SCIENCE 8. Louis Dumont and the Brahmanical science 9. Louis Dumont and the cunning of reason 10. The avatars of scholarship on India. Conclusion: Sociology put to the test of India