Chapter

A Curriculum for Religion

Parna Sengupta

in Pedagogy for Religion

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268296
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950412 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520268296.003.0003
A Curriculum for Religion

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This chapter draws heavily on the meaning and resonance of Vidyasagar's readers and primers for non-bhadralok educators, specifically missionaries. Evangelical debates over the use of Vidyasagar's books in Christian schools as having significance beyond Protestant mission circles. In the process of attacking or defending the use of Vidyasagar's primers and readers, missionary educators articulated and anticipated many of the arguments that would structure colonial debates about how best to educate a religiously plural society. This chapter shows the actual history of language primers and readers. It focuses on the conflict over language and religious identity among Protestant missionaries in the mid-nineteenth century. It traces the development of language primers and readers from metropolitan Britain to colonial Bengal. The chapter concludes by considering how missionary debates about the relationship between language and religious identity helped constitute two crucial aspects of later Bengali political discourse.

Keywords: curriculum; religions; Vidyasagar; non-bhadralok; language primers

Chapter.  8033 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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