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Author Viswanathan, Gauri.
Title Outside the fold : conversion, modernity, and belief / Gauri Viswanathan.
Imprint Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1998.

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Author Viswanathan, Gauri.
Series ACLS Humanities E-Book (Series)
Subject Conversion -- Comparative studies.
Religion and politics -- Comparative studies.
Religion and culture -- Comparative studies.
India -- Religion -- 19th century.
India -- Religion -- 20th century.
England -- Religion.
Description 1 online resource (xx, 332 pages) : illustrations
polychrome rdacc
Summary "Outside the Fold is a radical reexamination of religious conversion. Gauri Viswanathan skillfully argues that conversion is an interpretive act that belongs in the realm of cultural criticism. To that end, this work examines key moments in colonial and postcolonial history to show how conversion questions the limitations of secular ideologies, particularly the discourse of rights central to both the British empire and the British nation-state. Implicit in such questioning is an attempt to construct an alternative epistemological and ethical foundation of national community. Viswanathan grounds her study in an examination of two simultaneous and, she asserts, linked events: the legal emancipation of religious minorities in England and the acculturation of colonial subjects to British rule. The author views these two apparently disparate events as part of a common pattern of national consolidation that produced the English state. She seeks to explain why resistance, in both cases, frequently took the form of religious conversion, especially to "minority" or alternative religions. Confronting the general characterization of conversion as assimilative and annihilating of identity, Viswanathan demonstrates that a willful change of religion can be seen instead as an act of opposition. Outside the Fold concludes that, as a form of cultural crossing, conversion comes to represent a vital release into difference."
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 297-315) and index.
Contents pt. 1. Dissent and the nation. Ch. 1. Cross currents. Ch. 2. A grammar of dissent pt. 2. Colonial interventions. Ch. 3. Rights of passage: converts' testimonies. Ch. 4. Silencing heresy. Ch. 5. Ethnographic plots. Ch. 6. Conversion, theosophy, and race theory pt. 3. The imagined community. Ch. 7. Conversion to equality. Ch. 8. Epilogue: the right to belief. Appendix. The census of India, 1901.
Note Print version record.
ISBN 0195645774
9781400843480 (electronic bk.)
1400843480 (electronic bk.)
0691058997 (pb ; alk. paper)
9780691058993 (pb ; alk. paper)
ISBN/ISSN 9780691058986
OCLC # 558431707
Additional Format Print version: Viswanathan, Gauri. Outside the fold. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1998 0691058989 (DLC) 97034908 (OCoLC)37606223

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