The Hindu Renaissance of the Late 19th Century

Hinduism in the late nineteenth century, explains Lenah Leneman, experienced a revival that was to reawaken its devotees to their ancient faith, expose them to Christian and Muslim ideas, and finally to make its influence felt as far afield as America.

In the second half of the nineteenth century the educated Indian was in an invidious position. He could see the industry, accomplishments and, most of all, the power of the British at first hand, and he could hardly help admiring all this. The difficulty, aside from the general attitude of contempt held by the British for anyone with a brown skin, was that the 'package' included Christianity. To the overwhelming majority of Westerners, Hinduism was simply 'heathen', and a conversion to Christianity was the first, and most necessary, step to becoming a true member of the Empire.

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