Hindu Temples in the New World System, 1640–1800

Joanne Punzo Waghorne

in Diaspora of the Gods

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195156638
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199785292 | DOI:
 Hindu Temples in the New World System, 1640–1800

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The attention given to the 19th century in contemporary postcolonial studies skews the discussion of modernization and religion toward ideologies not materialities. Refocusing on the late 16th century during the rise of the new world system shows Hindu temples emerging as key institutions in the resettlement and reorientation of Indian Hindus in the new global economy. The key players were classic bourgeoisie, a multi-caste group of “merchants” in the East India Company. These merchants resembled their British counterparts in their rising status within their respective societies at home and their shared society in “Blacktown”. Through the use of archival maps, a reconfiguration of the Hindus temples becomes visible within this new urban space. The pattern of deities and the basic styles of their new homes — eclectic and duplicated — prefigure contemporary temples built within Chennai but also abroad in this new era of geo-culture and geo-economics (Wallerstein).

Keywords: world systems; East India Company; Blacktown; eclectic temples; duplicated temples; geo-culture; geo-economics; Wallerstein

Chapter.  15880 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

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