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Spiritual Despots: Hinduism & The Genealogies Of Self-Rule

PostPosted: 08 Dec 2016
by ex-l
I have not read it yet but appears to be a relevant parallel to the development of BKism ...
Spiritual Despots: Modern Hinduism And The Genealogies Of Self-Rule

by J. Barton Scott

Historians of religion have examined at length the Protestant Reformation and the liberal idea of the self-governing individual that arose from it.

In Spiritual Despots, J. Barton Scott reveals an unexamined piece of this story: how Protestant technologies of asceticism became entangled with Hindu spiritual practices to create an ideal of the “self-ruling subject” crucial to both nineteenth-century reform culture and early twentieth-century anticolonialism in India.

Scott uses the quaint term “priestcraft” to track anticlerical polemics that vilified religious hierarchy, celebrated the individual, and endeavored to reform human subjects by freeing them from external religious influence. By drawing on English, Hindi, and Gujarati reformist writings, Scott provides a panoramic view of precisely how the specter of the crafty priest transformed religion and politics in India.