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Title: The Bengali reaction to Christian missionary activities, 1833-1857
Author: Ali, Muhammad Mohar
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1963
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This thesis deals with the Bengali reaction to Christian missionary activities, 1833-1857, a hitherto unexplored field of study. Three main aspects of that reaction have been examined, viz., (1) the reaction to evangelising efforts in general, (2) the reaction to specific conversions to Christianity and (3) the reaction of the landed aristocracy in particular to the spread of Christianity in the mufassal. Under the first heading is discussed how the Hindu reform movement of the period, conducted by the Tattvabodhini Sabha in alliance with the Brahma Samaj, was inspired mainly by missionary activities and how its course was influenced by missionary criticisms. The nature and effects of the Hindu anti-missionary propaganda are then discussed; and against the background of these two the reaction to missionary as well as Government education policy is noted. The reaction to conversions to Christianity had also three features: (a) attempts to reclaim the Christian converts to Hinduism, (b) attempts to enforce caste disabilities upon converts, and (c) violence upon missionaries and converts. These have been discussed with reference to the social and legal problems that they gave rise to and the attitude of Government towards them. The spread of Christianity in the mufassal roused, for certain reasons, the jealousy and hostility of zamindars and indigo-planters. In the last section, therefore, the relationship between the landed aristocracy and the missionaries has been discussed, noting particularly the missionary advocacy for reform and the agitation that such demand for reform occasioned among zamindars and planters. The measures adopted by missionaries for protecting converts against the hostility of their landlords have also been discussed in this connection. The conclusion that emerges is that though the missionary activities roused strong religious opposition from Hindus and Muslims alike, the rural masses had, in so far as their economic interests were concerned, their real friends in the missionaries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Hinduism ; Christianity ; Missions ; Missionaries ; History ; Civilization ; Church history ; Bengal ; India