Abstract

In light of recent research on the role of Protestant Christianity in the British Empire, this article explores the possibility that the British actually carried to India a "religion" besides Protestantism, something that mimicked a religion so closely that it could vir­tually serve as an alternative to Christianity for purposes of imperial consolidation—namely, Freemasonry. The article posits that British Freemasonry, although it emerged from a Christian environment, progressively de-Christianized itself in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and increasingly espoused a religious universalism, which in turn allowed it to serve as an institutionalized, quasi-official, and de facto "civil reli­gion" for the British Empire in India.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8050
Print ISSN
1045-6007
Pages
pp. 493-525
Launched on MUSE
2011-09-04
Open Access
No
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