The East India Company and Religion
The East India Company and Religion, 1698-1858 / Penelope Carson. - Woodbridge, Suffolk ; Rochester, NY : The Boydell Press, 2012. - xi, 277 S. : Kt. - (Worlds of the East India Company)
£ 65,00 / US$ 115,00
This wide-ranging book charts how the East India Company grappled with religious issues in its multi-faith empire, putting them into the context of pressures exerted both in Britain and on the subcontinent, from the Company's early mercantile beginnings to the bloody end of its rule in 1858. Religion was at the heart of the East India Company's relationship with India, but the course of its religious policy has rarely been examined in any systematic way.
The free exercise of religion, the policy the Company adopted in its early days in order to safeguard the security of its possessions, was challenged by Evangelicals in the late eighteenth century. They demanded that the Company should grant free access to Christians of all Protestant denominations and an end to 'barbaric' Indian religious practices. This gave rise to an unprecedented petitioning movement in 1813, comparable in strength to that for the abolition of the slave trade the following year. It was an important milestone in British domestic politics. The final years of the Company's rule were dominated by its attempts to withstand Evangelical demands in the face of growing hostility from Indians. In the end it pleased no one, and its rule came to a gory and ignominious end.
In this compelling account, Penny Carson examines the twists and turns of the East India Company's policy on religious issues. The story of how the Company dealt with the fact that it was a Christian Company, trying to be equitable to the different faiths it found in India, has resonances for Britain today as it attempts to accommodate the religions of all its peoples within the Christian heritage and structure of the state. [Verlagsinformation]
Note on Hinduism. ix
Map of India. xii
1. A Christian Company? 7
2. The East India Company, Britain and India: 1770-1790. 18
3. The 1790s: A Time of Crisis. 34
4. The Pillar of Fire Moves Foreward: The Advent of British Missionaries, 1793-1806. 52
5. The Wisdom of the Serpent and the Innocence of the Dove: The Vellore Mutiny and The Pamphlet War, 1806-1808. 70
6. Troubled Years, 1807-1812. 90
7. Battle Lines Drawn: Missions, Dissent and the Establishment. 110
8. The 1813 Renewal of the Company's Charter: The Religious Public Takes on the Company. 130
9. A Turbulent Frontier: The Company and Religion, 1814-1828. 151
10. A New Dawn? The Era of Lord William Bentinck, 1828-1835. 183
11. Between Scylla and Charibdis, 1836-1858. 206
Conclusion and Epilogue: Strangers in the Land. 237
Appendix 1: Presidents of the Board of Control. 245
Appendix 2: Governors-General and Governors of Madras and Bombay. 246
Appendix 3: Aide Memoire to Names. 248
Appendix 4: 'The Pious Clause'. 250
Penelope Carson is an independent scholar with a doctorate from King's College, London.
- The East India Company and Religion, 1698-1858. xi, 277 S. (2012).