© 2017

Cosmopolitan Lives on the Cusp of Empire

Interfaith, Cross-Cultural and Transnational Networks, 1860-1950


  • Offers a comparative exploration of emergent cosmopolitanisms at the end of the era of European empires

  • Brings together scholarship from several intersecting fields of contemporary historical and cultural scholarship: transnational and new imperial history, colonial and post-colonial studies, religious history, international studies and critical race studies

  • Links India with the USA, UK, South Africa, Pacific and Australia to show how cosmopolitanism thought zones emerged from Britain’s largest overseas colony


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Jane Haggis, Clare Midgley, Margaret Allen, Fiona Paisley
    Pages 1-11
  3. Jane Haggis, Clare Midgley, Margaret Allen, Fiona Paisley
    Pages 13-35
  4. Jane Haggis, Clare Midgley, Margaret Allen, Fiona Paisley
    Pages 37-61
  5. Jane Haggis, Clare Midgley, Margaret Allen, Fiona Paisley
    Pages 63-83
  6. Jane Haggis, Clare Midgley, Margaret Allen, Fiona Paisley
    Pages 107-113
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 115-118

About this book


This book looks back to the period 1860 to 1950 in order to grasp how alternative visions of amity and co-existence were forged between people of faith, both within and resistant to imperial contact zones. It argues that networks of faith and friendship played a vital role in forging new vocabularies of cosmopolitanism that presaged the post-imperial world of the 1950s. In focussing on the diverse cosmopolitanisms articulated within liberal transnational networks of faith it is not intended to reduce or ignore the centrality of racisms, and especially hegemonic whiteness, in underpinning the spaces and subjectivities that these networks formed within and through. Rather, the book explores how new forms of cosmopolitanism could be articulated despite the awkward complicities and liminalities inhabited by individuals and characteristic of cosmopolitan thought zones. 


cosmopolitanism friendship India UK South Africa USA imperial contact zones faith anti-colonialism peace movements Christianity gender

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.College of Humanities, Arts and Social ScienceFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Department of HumanitiesSheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Gender Studies and Social AnalysisUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.School of Humanities, Languages, and Social ScienceGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

About the authors

 Jane Haggis is Associate Professor in the School of History and International Relations at Flinders University, Australia.


Clare Midgley is Research Professor in History at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.


Margaret Allen is Professor Emerita at University of Adelaide, Australia.


Fiona Paisley is Professor in Cultural History in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University, Australia.

Bibliographic information


“Through case studies of individuals working across religious and national boundaries, this innovative book shows how alternative visions of international collaboration were shaped in the midst of Empire. Emphasizing the spiritual dimensions of an emergent, anti-imperial, cosmopolitanism, it carves out a distinctive place in the literature on colonialism and its legacies.” (Alan Lester, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex, UK)