In this Book


As the forerunners of Indian modernization, the community of Bengali intellectuals known as the Brahmo Samaj played a crucial role in the genesis and development of every major religious, social, and political movement in India from 1820 to 1930. David Kopf launches a comprehensive generation- to-generation study of this group in order to understand the ideological foundations of the modern Indian mind. His book constitutes not only a biographical and a sociological study of the Brahmo Samaj, but also an intellectual history of modern India that ranges from the Unitarian social gospel of Rammohun Roy to Rabindranath Tagore's universal humanism and Jessie Bose's scientism.

From a variety of biographical sources, many of them in Bengali and never before used in research, the author makes available much valuable information. In his analysis of the interplay between the ideas, the consciousness, and the lives of these early rebels against the Hindu tradition, Professor Kopf reveals the subtle and intricate problems and issues that gradually shaped contemporary Indian consciousness. What emerges from this group portrait is a legacy of innovation and reform that introduced a rationalist tradition of thought, liberal political consciousness, and Indian nationalism, in addition to changing theology and ritual, marriage laws and customs, and the status of women.

Originally published in 1979.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Tables / Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xiii-xx
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  1. Chronology
  2. pp. xxi-xxiv
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  1. Part I. Reformist Modernism
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. 1. Unitarian Social Gospel and the Foundationsof Hindu Modernism
  2. pp. 3-41
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  1. 2. The Deification of Science,Humanity, and Reason:Brahmo Secularism
  2. pp. 42-85
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  1. 3. Identity, Achievement, Conscience:The Human Development of theBhadralok Reformer
  2. pp. 86-128
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  1. 4. Family, Faction, and the Dilemmas ofPolitical Reform under Colonialism
  2. pp. 129-154
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  1. Part II. Nationalist Ambivalence
  2. pp. 155-156
  1. 5. The Confrontation between TrinitarianChristianity and Reformed Hinduism
  2. pp. 157-175
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  1. 6. The Issue of Brahmo National Identity andthe Rise of Cultural Nationalism
  2. pp. 176-186
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  1. 7. The Frustration of the Bhadralokand the Making of a Revolutionary Nationalist:The West Desanctified
  2. pp. 187-214
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  1. Part III. Synthesis
  2. pp. 215-216
  1. 8. Western-Inspired Brahmo Evangelism andthe Vaishnav Spirit in the Mofussil
  2. pp. 217-248
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  1. 9. World Crisis and the Quest for an Ideology ofSalvation: Keshub, Prophet of Harmony
  2. pp. 249-286
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  1. 10. Rabindranath Tagore as Reformer:Hindu Brahmoism andUniversal Humanism
  2. pp. 287-310
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  1. Part IV. Conclusion
  2. pp. 311-312
  1. 11. The Brahmo Reformation Diffused: Bengal's Legacy to Twentieth-Century India
  2. pp. 313-334
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 335-356
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 357-386
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 387-400
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Additional Information

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Launched on MUSE
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