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Of Myths and Modernities: Literature by the Christian Converts of Nineteenth-Century Bengal

Chattopadhyay, Dhrupadi

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Abstract

Conversion to Christianity has never easily lent itself to visions of the Indian nation. Christianity in Bengal has been habitually read as an external stimulus which fostered the Bengal Renaissance, but ironically had negligible contributions in the internal struggles of the colonial public. Reading into the silences of this assessment has been used as an incentive in this dissertation. To this end, the literary production of the Hindu upper caste converts to Christianity has served as a case in point. The complicated socio-political location of theChristian converts—ostracized socially by the Hindu majority but privileged in terms of education and class/caste—in an age of political turmoil and vigorous social reform allows a unique entry point into the literary culture of colonial Bengal. Examining the English and the Bengali writings of the convert authors, this work makes a strong case for re-introducing the religious as a crucial axis of enquiry for studying entangled literary cultures.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Harder, Prof. Dr. Hans
Date of thesis defense: 14 October 2013
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 10:11
Date: 2014
Faculties / Institutes: Philosophische Fakultät > Dekanat der Philosophischen Fakultät
Subjects: 890 Literatures of other languages
Controlled Keywords: Christianity, Conversion and Literature , Ninteenth-century Bengal
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