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Title: The Christian missionaries in Bengal, 1793-1833
Author: Gupta, Kanti Prasanna Sen
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1966
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The aim of the present study is to examine the missionary activities in Bengal during the period 1795-1835 and to assess the role of the missionaries in the social, educational and religious reforms that took place at that time. The first chapter attempts an analysis of the Eighteenth Century Socio-religious background of England and Bengal, against which it seeks to explain the growth of the missionary activities. It was the Methodist Revival Movement in England, the chapter shows, which gave rise to the outburst of missionary enthusiasm during the period. As far as Bengal is concerned the chapter brings into focus the contemporary socio-religious conditions in which the missionaries found themselves and analyses the policy of the East India Company towards the Indian religions, which, in its turn, determined its attitude towards the missionaries. Chapter two describes the various missionary organisations at work in Bengal during this period and their relationship towards each other, also the relationship between the missionaries and Europeans - government officials, merchants and professionals. Chapter three and four describe the missionaries at work - the methods they used to achieve their objects, namely Preaching, Translation and Education; and the reactions of the people. Chapter five, which is an elaborate discussion of the results of the missionary activities, offers an analysis hitherto unattempted, of the total number of converts, their social background, their behaviour after conversion, and people's reaction to the missionaries and their converts. Chapter six deals with the impact of the missionary activities on contemporary Society. The impact on the socio-religious reforms, growth of education and Bengali literature, is discussed fully. It is affirmed that the missionaries played a significant part in preparing the background for the Renaissance in Bengal. It is pointed out in conclusion, that the lasting contributions of the missionaries towards the social progress in Bengal came either directly or indirectly, from their non-evangelical and evangelical activities respectively.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral