Chapter

Conclusion

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719060182.003.0009
Conclusion

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This chapter provides a conclusion on the series of measures applied by British observers to accumulate knowledge about India. The internal coherence and integrity of evangelical narratives and the common objective of mission work to provide spiritual salvation to heathen populations created strong homologies. The emphasis on spiritual rather than political or material salvation, particularly, when confronted by constituencies that seemed impervious to their influence, did not override social or cultural differences, but did engender a degree of stability and continuity at times of profound political change. Travel writings were less coherent. They drew contradictorily and differentially upon longer traditions to produce epistemologically insecure visions of both metropolis and colony. Overarching both genres—and arguably the field of knowledge production as a whole—were narratives of progress. It was these that at times of political unease and perceived crisis in the information order engendered racialized and totalizing visions, which eventually rendered obsolete the projects of travellers and evangelicals to create knowledge of India.

Keywords: heathen populations; political change; travel writings; epistemology; material salvation; spiritual salvation; political salvation

Chapter.  3787 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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