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Title: Swami Vivekananda revisited : continental collision and the (re)packaging of Hindu traditions
Author: Mahtani, Nandini Arun
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 9178
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2017
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This study seeks to analyze the how Vivekananda's voice impacted the (re)packaging of Hindu traditions in the 19th century. By first problematizing the Western terms 'religion' and 'Hinduism' It will establish the framework within which Vivekananda's influence can be understood. It uses the term 'continental collision' to demonstrate how the East and West impacted each other thereby confirming that the exchange of ideas was multidirectional and not one sided. This study highlights Vivekananda's Indian roots and local influences thereby taking into account the fact that Vivekananda's voice was uniquely Indian and not simply a result of Western ideology. This volume relies extensively on Swami Vivekananda's English publications thereby allowing Vivekananda to speak for himself. It surveys Vivekananda's experiences at the Parliament of Religions in 1893 and his triumphant return in order to determine how he was able to cultivate a hierarchy which privileged Advaita Vedanta over all other native Indian traditions. By highlighting the way Vivekananda created the hierarchy amongst Indian traditions, a hierarchy that is still thriving in modern India, it draws attention to how this is detrimental to the integrity of the Indian landmass. Using modern scholarship, it shines a light on the way Vivekananda's ideas have been appropriated by the Hindutva movement who, in turn, have interpreted his hierarchy to be in support of creating a Hindu state in India. Thus, it reveals how this particularly Indian voice of Vivekananda's, due to the immense 'continental collision' that occurred during the British Raj, was able to (re)package Hindu traditions; a repackaging that resulted in a hierarchy that must be dismantled by Hindus today.
Supervisor: King, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available