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Translocal Lives and Religion

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Inspired by the historiographical model of “connected histories” (S. Subrahmanyam and S. Gruzinski), the volume examines the intellectual trajectories of remarkable individuals who interacted with religious discourses, doctrines or practices in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The proposed approach of “connected religion” invites to the study of cross-cultural and “translocal” encounters by bringing together documents that represent diverse sides of the story and by reconstructing a narrative from an external standpoint, with analytical potential. Testing the approach through specific cases of interactions between Asia and Europe, the volume explores the little-known stories of both actors such as migrants or expatriates interacting with religious discourses, and of religious leaders producing and propagating beliefs and practices. Without any pretension to exhaustivity, the variety of cases arouses questions that can be addressed to further contexts, such as: the significance of improved travels and communications for the diffusion of religious content across national, cultural and institutional boundaries; the impact of specific individuals, charismatic or not, well-established or subaltern in the reconfiguration of institutional forms of religion; or the role of the South Asian referent in legitimating the propagation of specific religious views.

Published: Mar 1, 2020


Section Chapter Authors
Preface Sujit Sivasundaram
Editor’s Introduction Philippe Bornet
Part I: Introduction
1. From Comparative to Connected Religion: Translocal Aspects of Orientalism and the Study of Religion Philippe Bornet
Part II: Transnational Trajectories and Individual Appropriations of Religion
2. 'In-Between' Religiosity: European Kāli-bhakti in Early Colonial Calcutta Gautam Chakrabarti
3. The Making of the Ideal Transnational Disciple: Unravelling Biographies of Margaret Noble/Sister Nivedit Gwilym Beckerlegge
4. The Curious Case of the Drs. D’Abreu: Catholicism, Migration and a Kanara Catholic Family in the Heart of the Empire, 1890-1950 Dwayne Menezes
5. Religion and the 'Simple Life': Dugald Semple and Translocal ‘Life Reform’ Networks Steven Sutcliffe
6. Re-discovering Buddha’s Land: The Transnational Formative Years of China’s Indology Minyu Zhang
Part III: Religions on the Move
7. Charles Pfoundes and the Forgotten First Buddhist Mission to the West, London 1889 Brian Bocking
8. Travelling Through Interstitial Spaces: The Radical Spiritual Journeys of Pandita Mary Ramabai Saraswathi Parinitha Shetty
9. A 'Christian Hindu Apostle'?: Kaleidoscopic Views of Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929?) Philippe Bornet
10. The Chen Jianmin (1906-1987) Legacy: an 'Always on the Move' Buddhist Practice Fabienne Jagou
PART IV: In Summary
11. Afterword Maya Burger
End Matter
Index Philippe Bornet