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Swaminarayan HinduismTradition, Adaptation, and Identity$
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Raymond Brady Williams and Yogi Trivedi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463749

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463749.001.0001

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Situating the Swaminarayan Tradition in the Historiography of Modern Hindu Reform

Situating the Swaminarayan Tradition in the Historiography of Modern Hindu Reform

(p.6) 1 Situating the Swaminarayan Tradition in the Historiography of Modern Hindu Reform
Swaminarayan Hinduism

Brian A. Hatcher

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the concept of reform as it was deployed by administrators, missionaries, and scholars during the colonial era and asks how the history of this discourse has played out with respect to one particular tradition, namely the Swaminarayan Sampraday. The Swaminarayan tradition offers an excellent opportunity to explore the genealogy of ‘reform’ in the literature on modern Hinduism. Initially, a rather diffuse application of the concept of reform in the early colonial period paved the way for the emergence of a late-colonial paradigm of reform in which medieval religion could be distinguished from modern. Understanding this point is central to understanding how the Swaminarayan tradition has—and has not—been discussed in the literature on religious reform in modern India.

Keywords:   Sahajanand Swami, historiography, religious reform, colonial, revival, Rammohan Roy, Swaminarayan Sampraday, Swaminarayan tradition

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