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Title: Globalization and religious revival in the imperial cities of the Indian Ocean rim, 1870-1820
Author: Frost, M.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2002
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This dissertation addresses the cultural impact of a period of globalization in the Indian Ocean world. It begins by arguing that nineteenth-century advances, including the expansion of imperial postal services, revolutionised methods of social communication; generating, in the process, a massive increase in the exchange of information across the Indian Ocean rim and contributing to the emergence of an interconnected oceanic network. It then discusses in detail the way in which local or indigenous groups came to manipulate this network to further their own social, political and religious programmes, eventually transforming local movements into regional and even global ones. Leading and orchestrating these movements were new intelligentsias that emerged in the imperial cities of the Indian Ocean rim after 1870. These intelligentsias - western-educated, bilingual and often multi-ethnic in composition - were forced to grapple with the forces of globalization in an environment where its impact was most keenly felt. In responding to the perceived threats of westernization, materialism and Christian evangelism through the creation of religious revival movements, these groups have been credited with spearheading resistance to colonial authority and with fostering nationalist awakenings. However, this thesis argues that the revivalism of this period possessed an appeal and contained aspirations that went far beyond the creation of the infant nation-state: a fact sometimes obscured by the attempts of historians to construct an inevitable teleology of the rise of Asian nationalism. Heightened interconnection in the region, afforded by a nineteenth century revolution in communications and the spread of English as a lingua franca, provided the bilingual intelligentsias in imperial cities with means to explore the creation of, and sometimes the revitalisation of transnational identities. A feature of the age was that many contemporaries saw the British Empire itself, in some form or another, as the vehicle through which a global programme of religion change might be instigated and successfully effected.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available