Hinduism Teachings

Towards Invention: A richer historical past for 'Hinduism' with Will Sweetman


On this interview Affiliate Professor Will Sweetman talks to Thomas White about the concept ‘Hinduism’ and lots of the different phrases we use to categorise religions—together with the time period faith itself—are trendy innovations, rising out of nineteenth-century inter-cultural contact and European colonialism. Will argues towards this critique, and to make his case he attracts on historic sources that debate ‘Hinduism’ each exterior of the anglophone expertise and lengthy earlier than the nineteenth century. By figuring out different, non-anglophone sources of cross-cultural, West-East encounters, the place comparative faith is the topic of reflection and outline, the idea of ‘Hinduism’ is offered as acquiring a a lot richer historical past than the ‘invention thesis’ permits. Such sources embrace accounts by German Protestant missionaries and people by Jesuits writing in Portuguese, in addition to native, expository works by self-reporting Indian spiritual thinkers. Will argues that ‘Hinduism’ as an idea is older, broader, and certainly extra inner to India, than is at present assumed, however that is often missed via an overemphasis on comparatively late sources nearly completely in English. The interview goes on to debate the implications of this analysis – and endeavours much like it – for the research of faith typically. The interview closes with a quick chat about Otago’s internet hosting of the IAHR Congress in 2020.


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