Advertisement

Spiritual Preaching in India: English as a Tool for Religious Propagation

  • Pinak Sankar BhattacharyaEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

From the very beginning of its introduction in India, English, though a language of colonial masters, functioned as an effective instrument of resistance. Many political activists, religious leaders, and social reformers used English to counter the British agenda of colonisation of minds and lands of people. The English-educated elite of colonial Bengal, for example, transformed the ‘master’s language’ into an instrument that helped revive the crumbling Hindu religion. However, as access to English language was confined to a handful of people, it created its own kind of binaries in the Indian social and religious system. In the postcolonial era, English has been transformed into a phenomenon of mass expression as per the market requirement of ‘demand and supply’. Hence, what served as a medium of upliftment for the preachers of colonial era has shrunk into a mere TRP tool for the tele-evangelists in the postcolonial era. The paper attempts to explore the ideas of ‘religion’ and ‘religiosity’ focusing on the usage of English by the Indian preachers from different eras.

Keywords

Religion Religiosity Preachers Tele-evangelists Consumerism Hinduism Brahmo Samaj 

References

  1. Collet, S. D. (1914). The life and letters of Raja Rammohun Roy: Compiled and edited by the late Sophia Dobson Collet and completed by a friend. Calcutta: Hem Chandra Sarkar Accessed from: https://archive.org/stream/lifelettersofraj00collrich/lifelettersofraj00collrich_djvu.txt Accessed on 3 Aug 2016.Google Scholar
  2. Eagleton, T. (2012). Why Marx was right. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Eliot, T. S. (1955). The waste land and other poems. New York: Harcourt Brace and Co.Google Scholar
  4. Lyotard, J.-F. (1984). The postmodern condition: A report on knowledge (G. Bennington, & B. Massumi, Trans.). Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Macaulay, T. B. (1965). Minutes. In H. Sharp (Ed.), Selections from educational records, part I (1781–1839) (pp. 107–117). Delhi: National Archives of India.Google Scholar
  6. Nagraj, A. K. (2013). Osho – Insights on sex. Indian Journal of Psychiatry 55: N Pag. Accessed from; http://indianjpsychiatry.org/article.asp?issn=00195545;year=2013;volume=55;issue=6;spage=171;epage=176;aulast=Nagaraj. Accessed on 3 Aug 2016.
  7. Neufeldt, R. (1993). Reflections on Swami Vivekananda’s speeches at the world parliament of religions, 1893. Journal of Hindu—Christian Studies, 6, N Page. Accessed from: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1073&context=jhcs. Accessed 2 Aug 2016.
  8. Skutnabb-Kangas, T., & Phillipson, R. (1989). ‘Mother tongue’: The theoretical and sociopolitical construction of a concept. In U. Ammon (Ed.), Status and function of languages and language varieties (p. 455). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co.Google Scholar
  9. Thapar, R. (2014). The past as present. New Delhi: Aleph.Google Scholar
  10. Vivekananda, S. (1944). Letters of Swami Vivekananda. Mayavati: Advaita Ashrama.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishGLA UniversityMathuraIndia

Personalised recommendations