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Gothic Sympathy and Missionary Writing

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Part of the Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Cultures of Print book series (PERCP)

Abstract

Whilst not easily categorised as an ‘evangelical’ herself (she was in fact Episcopalian), Hamilton conveys overtones of Christianity that align Translation of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah chronologically, if not denominationally, with the Evangelical Revival that emerged in Britain in the mid to late eighteenth century.1 This movement harked back to the ‘great awakening’ experienced by Methodists and other dissenting groups in the mid eighteenth century, but swiftly spread to the established Church of England, where evangelical clergy rose to prominence around the country. The Evangelical Revival has long been acknowledged as a force in early nineteenth-century culture and society, but has more recently been given its due as a prevailing influence on the culture of empire in Britain.2 Its impact, traced over the texts covered in this chapter, centred on the growth of the missionary movement and its drive to convert Britain’s Indian subjects to Christianity, a change from the religious tolerance practised under the governorship of Hastings and promulgated by Jones. Indian religion, particularly Hinduism, became less an object of scholarly curiosity and increasingly one of moral alarm and revulsion in the eyes of the assurgent evangelical lobby. Hindu beliefs, ceremonies and rites were construed in new ways that may be characterised as gothic.

Keywords

British Literature Late Eighteenth Century British Reader East India Company Missionary Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See Colin Haydon, S. Taylor, and J. Walsh (eds), The Church of England 1689–1833: From Toleration to Tractarianism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993) and John Kent, Wesley and the Wesleyans: Religion in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).Google Scholar
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© Andrew Rudd 2011

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