"Hinduism" and the Problem of Self-Actualisation in the Colonial Era: Critical Reflections

Sen, Amiya P.

[thumbnail of SAIP_1_2015_Sen_final.pdf]
PDF, English
Download (1MB) | Terms of use

Download (1MB)
For citations of this document, please do not use the address displayed in the URL prompt of the browser. Instead, please cite with one of the following:


This paper is the text of a lecture delivered at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg, on May 20, 2015, with footnotes added. It discusses how scholarly perceptions of colonial Hinduism have visibly shifted trajectory over the years. Relating how Hinduism has moved from being ‘discovered’ in the eighteenth century to be seen as discursively ‘invented’ or ‘imagined’ in the nineteenth, it argues that in colonial India, internally generated debates about the origin and nature of Hinduism paralleled ascriptions originating outside but failed to attract adequate attention. It also seeks to ask if not also to definitively answer certain key theoretical questions. For instance, even allowing for the fact that social and religious identities are always porous, does it still make sense to ask if unstable and fluid perceptions of the self too were invested with some meaning?

Document type: Book
Publisher: South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date: 2015
Version: Primary publication
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2015
Number of Pages: 29
Faculties / Institutes: Universitäten / Institute > Südasien-Institut der Universität Heidelberg
DDC-classification: Religions of Indic origin
Controlled Keywords: Hinduismus, Kolonialismus
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indien, Hinduismus, Kolonialismus, Perzeption / India, Hinduism, Colonial Era, Self-Actualisation
Subject (classification): Indology
Countries/Regions: India
Series: Themen > South Asia Institute Papers
Volume: 1.2015