Scottish Orientalists and India: The Muir Brothers, Religion, Education and Empire

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Boydell & Brewer, 2010 - History - 318 pages
Structured around the lives and careers of two Scottish scholar-administrator brothers, Sir William and Dr John Muir, who served in the East India Company and the Raj in North-West India from 1827-1876, this book examines cultural, especially religious and educational attitudes and interactions during the period. The core of the study centres on a detailed examination of the brothers' seminal works on Vedic and Islamic history and society which, researched from Sanskrit and Arabic sources, became standard reference works on India's religions during the Raj. The publication of these works coincided with the outbreak of the Indian Uprising of 1857, on the nature of which William's correspondence with his brother and others allows some reconsideration, especially in respect of Muslim participation. Powell also examines the response of Indian Muslim scholars, particularly of Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan, to William's critiques of Islam and the brothers' patronage of Oriental scholarship, comparative religion and education during their long retirement back in their native Scotland. The study contributes to current debates about the Scottish contribution to Empire with particular reference to India and to cultural issues. AVRIL A. POWELL is Reader Emerita in the History Department at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
 

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Contents

Commerce Christianity
21
haileybury College
51
evangelicals in northWest India
75
engagement with pandits Ulama and
100
the making of orientalist scholars
126
Original Sanskrit Texts and The Life of Mahomet
149
1857 and its lessons
173
an Indian response on religion and
195
education and the Idea of a University
221
retrospective from late nineteenthCentury
248
afterword
278
Bibliography
291
Index
307
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