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Bibil Identifier bibil:202614
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) The Hindu Moses: Christian Representations of Judaism and the Secularization of Hindu Law under Colonialism
Author Yelle, Robert A.
Journal History of Religions (Volume: 49, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2009
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2009
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2009
Language English
Pages 141-171 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract When the British arrived in India, they brought with them their presuppositions concerning the proper degree of separation of law from religion, presuppositions that were derived in part from Protestant Christianity. What they found in Hinduism, however, was a confusion or commingling of law with religious precepts that recalled ancient Judaism. Worst of all was the confounding of both law and religion with external rituals that resembled idolatry. Just as Christians had earlier characterized such Jewish practices as circumcision and dietary restrictions as forms of empty ceremonial abrogated by the Gospel, the British in India evaluated analogous Hindu practices, and especially the institutions of caste, as marks of social and religious distinction incompatible with Christian universalism. From explicit missionary polemics to the ostensibly religiously neutral policies of the colonial administration, such Christian categories influenced a particular division of labor between law and religion, or what we call, for lack of a better word, the “secularization” of Hinduism.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Themes : Law
Thesaurus BiBIL : Bible (as a whole) : History of Interpretation and Reception
Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : India
Last modification 2017-10-27