The great museum of races

John Marriott

in The Other Empire

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780719060182
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700341 | DOI:
The great museum of races

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This chapter focuses on the progress of missions with the history, the literature, the customs, and the mythology of Indian people, and which combined a general view of this interesting field, with the advancement of the truth. The notion of caste emerged during the formative stages of the British imagination of India. Caste attracted the hostility of evangelicals because it was seen as a powerful barrier to conversion, enlightenment and progress, and the mainstay of arguments against intervention in Indian customs. And yet caste was understood with neither rigour nor consistency. The term caste was used interchangeably with race, sect, tribe and even nation to denote a population seen to possess common traits. Indeed, it was this versatility that promoted the cavalier use of caste to provide pseudo-scientific status to theories on the nature of Indian society.

Keywords: evangelicals; Indian customs; caste; Indian society; pseudo-scientific status; Indian customs; mythology of Indian people

Chapter.  15976 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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