Author: Shamita Basu
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195653718
This book is the first to study Swami Vivekananda's life, teachings, and writings in the light of recent social theories.
Swami Vivekananda made a valuable contribution to the Indian social and religious reform movements in the nineteenth century. His teachings reflect the complex relationship between nationalism and modernity in the colonial world of nineteenth-century Bengal. The birth and development of the Ramakrishna and Vivekananda reform movement was intimately associated with the growth of Indian nationalism.
This book is the first to study the Swami’s life, teachings, and writings in the light of recent social theories. Vivekananda’s thinking is critically examined as a nationalist text and not merely as a discourse on Hindu religion. The author compares the Swami’s ideas with the political beliefs of other contemporary public intellectuals. She examines the ways in which Vivekananda neo-Hinduism emerged as a powerful ideology of Hindu nationalism, combining the European Enlightenment ideals of modernity and rationalism, with the Hindu doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.
The modernity which entered the cultural space of the colonial world recast old Hinduism in the form of the Brahmo Samaj movement. However, this modern reform agenda provoked opposition from conservative Hindus. It found wider acceptance only when it recast itself as part of Vivekananda’s nationalist discourse. This new nationalist idiom provided the forum for the reconciliation of the conservative and radical reformers. It also permitted the accommodation of the European Enlightenment values of rationality but without disturbing the ancient spirit of Hinduism.
This intellectual history will interest scholars of modern India history, religious studies, and cultural studies.
RELIGION AND NATIONALISM IN NINETEENTH CENTURY BENGAL
The Brahmo Samaj and the Modernization of Hinduism
Religious polemics and the New Public Sphere
The Creolized Religions: The New Dispensation and Hindu-Catholic Christianity
From Ramakrishna to Vivekananda: Catholicity of Hinduism to Hindu University
The Self and Subject in Nationalist Discourse
RELIGION AS HISTORY: VIVEKANANDA AND TAHE NATIONALIST CONSTRUCTION OF THE HINDU PAST
History and Nation
Critiques of Colonial Society and the Articulation of History as a Privileged Concept
From the History of Hinduism to the History of Hindu Modernity
Interrogating the Past: Colonialism and the Nationalist School of History Writing in Bengal
Vivekananda’s Nationalism and the Advent of a New Philosophy of History
THE UNIVERSALIZATION OF HINDUISM AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NATION
The Nationalist Theology of Advaita Vedanta and a Strategic Interpretation of Ramakrishna’s Hinduism
Reform and Transgression in Vivekananda’s Thought
DEMOCRACY AND NATIONALIST RELIGION: VIVEKANANDA AND THE CORPORATIST CONSTRUCTION OF HINDUISM
Colonialism, the Public Sphere, and the Growth of Religious and Caste Identity
The Racial Construction of Aryanism and the Neo-Hindu Response
Democracy, Civil society, and the Religious Ideology of Nationalism
From Community to Civil Society: Politicization of Religion Under British Rule and the Nationalist Solution to Communalism
Vivekananda and the Arya Samaj: The advent of Corporatist Hinduism
RECONCILING REASON WITH RITUAL: NEO-HINDUISM AND THE NATIONALIST PROJECT OF MEDIATION
The Voice of Orthodoxy: The Bengal Revivalists of the Nineteenth Century and the Counter-Puritanism of Hindu Reformation
Dissemination of the Revivalist Discourse and Popular Literature on Hinduism
The Doctrine of Advaita and the Philosophical Foundation of the Concept of Unity
The Philosophy of Bhakti Yoga and the Limits of Reason
The Feminine Against the Effeminate: Classicization of the Popular Cults and the Response of Hindu Social Reformers to Swami Vivekananda
THE METASTATIS OF ENLIGHTENMENT: THE PLACE OF SCIENCE, ETHICS, AND PHILOSOPHY IN NEO-HINDUISM
Science and Hindu Religion
Ethics as the Contested Concept: The Neo-Hindu Interpretation of ‘Dharma’ and ‘Darsana’
Renunciation: The Metaphor for Liberation
‘The Self as God’: Vedanta and Hindu Nationalist Ideology
Dialogic Nationalism and the Triumph of Modernity