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Was Hinduism Invented?Britons, Indians, and the Colonial Construction of Religion$
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Brian K. Pennington

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195166552

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195166558.001.0001

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The Other Without and the Other Within

The Other Without and the Other Within

(p.23) 2 The Other Without and the Other Within
Was Hinduism Invented?

Brian K. Pennington (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the genesis of the missionary movement in Great Britain and the strategies for proselytization adopted by upper class, evangelical Christianity. Situated at the center of colonial power, such figures as William Wilberforce and Hannah More helped launch a comprehensive evangelization of Britain and India alike that employed the benighted pagan and vulgar factory laborer as reflections of one another, particularly in Sunday school literature. Such an approach clearly illustrates how modern forms of colonial encounter took place not along avenues of diffusion between metropole and colony, but under an umbrella of power relations and signs shared by those in Britain and India who would be mutually transformed by the experience. Missionaries for such groups as the Church Missionary Society viewed the working classes of Britain not only as sources of income and energy, but also as targets of the very proselytization they were preparing for India. The Church of England’s own struggle to address and accommodate the working poor marginalized by industrialization and high-church polity accounts for much of the style and scope of its missionary societies.

Keywords:   William Wilberforce, Church of England, missionaries, missionary movement, evangelical Christianity, Sunday Schools, Hannah More, Church Missionary Society

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