Hindu-Catholic Engagements in Goa: Religion, Colonialism and Modernity

By: Alexander Henn

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Hindu–Catholic Engagements in Goa offers a novel perspective on the Portuguese empire and Catholic hegemony in Asia that for almost half a millennium—from 1510 to 1961—had its capital in Goa. Based on fresh archival studies and extensive ethnography, it reveals the dramatic role of religion at the beginning of colonialism and modernity and provides insight into Goa’s intricate Hindu-Catholic syncretism today. Vasco Da Gama’s celebrated passage to India (1497–99) not only initiated a period of Christian expansion, in which Jesuit missionaries declared war to the alleged ‘idolatry’ of Hindus. The engagement with the until then largely unknown and unexpectedly rich culture of Hinduism was also part of profound modern transformations that, in the long run, lead Christian Europe to recognize the plurality of religions around the globe.Hindu village gods and Catholic patron saints commonly attract veneration from people of the respective ‘Other’ religious community and, yet, do not create confusion between the distinct identities of Hindus and Catholics. At the core of this seeming syncretistic paradox lies a communal concern for neighborhood, genealogy, protection and health that, at times, overrules doctrinal divides in the village communities. Hindus and Catholics share trust in communicating with the divine and holy in ways that occasionally favor ritual over belief and appreciate substance before meaning. Contrary to postcolonial theories of ‘Othering’, this book identifies religion thus as an inherently hybrid dimension of the intersection of colonialism and modernity and identifies local, rather than universal and epistemic, rather than ethical principles at the core of Goa’s remarkable religious pluralism.Printed Pages: 228.

Title: Hindu-Catholic Engagements in Goa: Religion, Colonialism and Modernity

Author Name: Alexander Henn

Categories: Development, Religion, India,

Publisher: New Delhi, India, Orient BlackSwan: 2014

ISBN: 8125055215

ISBN 13: 9788125055211

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Jacket Condition: New

Seller ID: 101756

Keywords: Hindu-Catholic Engagements in Goa: Religion, Colonialism and Modernity Alexander Henn