The Legacy of Vaiṣṇavism in Colonial Bengal: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Legacy of Vaiṣṇavism in Colonial Bengal

1st Edition

Edited by Ferdinando Sardella, Lucian Wong


304 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138561793
pub: 2019-11-04
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This book offers an overview of the Bengali Vaiṣṇava tradition and showcases cutting-edge research on Vaiṣṇavism in its manifold forms—elite and popular, urban and rural—within the pivotal context of colonial Bengal, South Asia.

This book uniquely sheds light on the roles of, and developments within, pre-existing Hindu religious communities (sampradāyas) in the context of the so-called Bengal or Hindu ‘Renaissance’ and a now familiar host of figures and currents of religious ‘reform’ and ‘revival’. Bringing together leading and rising scholars in this nascent field of study from across the disciplines of social and intellectual history, philology, theology, and anthropology, this book both facilitates a more complete picture of Vaiṣṇavism and enriches our understanding of religion in modern South Asia more broadly. Each chapter offers a systematic examination of the tradition within broader critical discourses on Hinduism and collectively exhibit a high degree of thematic cohesiveness.

Unprecedented in both scope and disciplinary breadth, thereby making a major contribution to a burgeoning field of Bengali Vaiṣṇava studies, this book will be of interest to scholars of modern Hinduism, Religion and colonial South Asian social and intellectual history.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Vaiṣṇavism in Colonial Bengal: Beyond the Hindu Renaissance, LUCIAN WONG AND FERDINANDO SARDELLA; Part One: Recovering the Legacy: How Vaiṣṇavas Adopted Colonial Modalities; 1 The Afterlife of an Avatāra in Modern Times, VARUNI BHATIA; 2 Theorising Bengal Vaiṣṇavism: Bipin Chandra Pal and New Perspectives on Religious Life and Culture, AMIYA P. SEN; 3 Vaiṣṇava Institutional Processes in Colonial Bengal, SANTANU DEY; 4 Baba Premananda Bharati: His Trajectory into and through Bengal Vaiṣṇavism to the West, GERALD CARNEY; 5 Claiming High Ground: Gauḍīya Missionising Rhetoric on the Adhikāra of Worship, KENNETH VALPEY; 6 Directions for Future Research on Vaiṣṇavism in Colonial Bengal, JOSEPH T. O’CONNELL AND AMIYA P. SEN; Part Two: Contending the Portrayal: How Ethics Shaped This Religion of Love; 7 The Power of the Secret: The Tantalising Discourse of Vaiṣṇava Sahajiyā Scholarship, TONY K. STEWART; 8 Sahajiya Texts of Nadia: Beyond Reform and Revival, SUKANYA SARBADHIKARY; 9 Love of Woman: Love of Humankind? Interconnections between Bāul Esoteric Practice and Social Radicalism, JEANNE OPENSHAW; 10 Sexuality and Religion in Early Modern and Modern South Asia: The Case of Bengali Vaiṣṇavism, KIYOKAZU OKITA; 11 Colonial Morals, Vaiṣṇava Quarrels: Tracing the Sources of Nineteenth Century Anti-Sahajiyā Polemics, LUCIAN WONG

About the Editors

Ferdinando Sardella is Assistant Professor at Stockholm University, Sweden. He is a research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, University of Oxford, UK.

Lucian Wong is a post-doctoral fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS), University of Oxford, UK and is co-director of the Bengali Vai??avism in the Modern Period Project of the OCHS.

About the Series

Routledge Hindu Studies Series

This series, in association with the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, intends primarily  the publication of constructive Hindu theological, philosophical and ethical projects aimed at bringing Hindu traditions into dialogue with contemporary trends in scholarship and contemporary society. The series invites original, high quality, research level work on religion, culture and society of Hindus living in India and abroad. Proposals for annotated translations of important primary sources and studies in the history of the Hindu religious traditions will also be considered.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies