By Kenneth W. Jones
This quantity within the New Cambridge background of India appears on the quite a few nineteenth-century routine for social and spiritual change--Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian--that used a variety of varieties of spiritual authority to legitimize their reform courses. Such pursuits have been either indigenous and colonial of their origins, and the writer indicates how each one tailored to the problem of competing nationalisms as political conditions replaced. the quantity considers the general effect of British rule by and large sphere of faith, social habit, and tradition.
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Extra info for Socio-Religious Reform Movements in British India
After 1875 demon strated a new interest in strictly religious issues by organizing a seminar to study different religions and their prophets. Here he found Brahmos from the ascetic faction w h o gladly joined in this project. By 1875-6, Keshab Chandra Sen had begun to focus on a new type of Brahmoism that contained elements of ecstatic religious experience and shaktism (the worship of female power). He met Ramakrishna Paramahansa, a Bengali mystic w h o may have furthered his involvement in devotional worship.
The English of this period did not exhibit the sense of racial and cultural superiority so characteristic of the nineteenth century. For many, particularly Hastings and those senior officials w h o surrounded him, it was an era of excitement and discovery as they examined the civilization now under their control. With minds influenced by European classicism, the British turned to a study of Indian languages, literature, religion, and social structure. Underlying this scholarship was the assumption that English rule 25 Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press, 2008 SOCIO-RELIGIOUS R E F O R M M O V E M E N T S IN B R I T I S H INDIA would be transitory, lasting only until the indigenous culture had reclaimed its former pinnacle of achievement.
R o y ' s adherence to theism and his rejection of idolatry, Brahman priests, and their rituals, sketched the basic outlines of his recon structed Hinduism; for, to him, G o d and his existence were proven by the complexity of reality. Rather like European rationalists, R o y envi sioned G o d as the 'almighty superintendent of the universe'. This rational and highly ethical vision of Hinduism had been lost over the centuries through the unfortunate influence of Brahman priests. R o y would return Hinduism to its past purity.