Author: Gerald Studdert-Kennedy
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170367360
The interconnection between British Christianity and British imperialism in India is a widely acknowledged historical fact. This study provides a pioneering investigation into the Christian component of British imperialism, its complex roots in British domestic politics, and its pervasive significance for the evolution of the Raj.
Despite this, there are as yet only a handful of books which study this phenomenon. Informed by an essentially Gramscian analysis of colonial discourse, the book identifies fundamental religious and ideological commonalities, both at the level of political elites and at the grass-roots, that linked British politics in the domestic and imperial arenas and throws fresh light on the construction and collapse of the Raj. This analysis is developed against the backdrop of the imperial religiosity of the British; its diversity, evolution and rapid extinction; as well as the subsequent emergence of a multi-ethnic society in the United Kingdom under the consolidation of a global capitalism.
Dr Studdert-Kennedy explores the structure, sources and strengths of the discourse of a Christian imperialism through such diverse aspects as the teaching of literature and history at the Madras Christian College and the significance of the College in the political arenas of the Presidency; the policy networks involving Lionel Curtis and his Round Table group in the formulation and implementation of constitutional reform between the wars; and the parliamentary and grass-roots opposition of the Churchillian die-hards to the 1935 Government of India Act. He highlights the position of India as a minority interest in British politics even in the final critical years of the Raj.
An engrossing interdisciplinary empirical analysis which utilizes hitherto neglected evidence particularly from British domestic politics and from the area of missionary higher education, this book will interest students of history, religion and political science, as well as the generally interested reader.
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
PART I: CHRISTIAN STATE AND CHRISTIAN EMPIRE
Religion and Politics after the Great War
Gandhi and the Christian Imperialists
PART II: THE SENSE OF PROVIDENCE
Masks of Conquest: Political Elite and Christian College in the Madras Presidency
Masks of Persuasion: The Uses of Literature and the Politics of Providence
Gandhi, Ruskin and the Christian Imperialists
PART III: AGENTS OF PROVIDENCE
The Intense Beliefs of Lionel George Curtis
Political Science and Political Theology: Lionel Curtis, Federalism and India
The Christian Imperialism of the Die-Hard Defenders of the Raj
Christianity, Statecraft and Chatham
House: Lionel Curtis and World Order
PART IV: PROVIDENCE AND OTHER NARRATIVES
Epilogue: Community, Belief and Political Economy
References and Select Bibliography
About the Author