RLB208 Orientalism and Neohinduism

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2019
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Mgr. Milan Fujda, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. David Zbíral, Ph.D.
Department for the Study of Religions - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Kateřina Sedlářová
Supplier department: Department for the Study of Religions - Faculty of Arts
each odd Monday 12:00–13:40 N31
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 2/30, only registered: 0/30
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The aim of the course is to provide detailed information on mutual relations between the rise of British Oriental studies in Calcutta and modern Hindu reformism. The basic assumption on which the course is founded is that the modern Hindu reformism in the form it developed during the 19th and 20th centuries was highly indebted to the so called oriental renaissance carried on by British administration (and institutions of Oriental studies and training) and subsequently further developed by new Bengali intelligentsia.
Learning outcomes
The course is the part of research project concerned with the topic of acculturation of Hinduism in the Western, particularly in Czech context. As a result of this the main concern of course is to show deep cultural influence of British (as representatives of European culture) on modern India. Again, the basic assumption in the background is that Hindu thoughts could become attractive for modern European and American intellectuals only due to its accommodation to Western values and needs through the medium of reforms initiated by the British administration. & Thus the course will have three main blocks: & 1) Brief overlook of modern Hindu reformism and its relation to Hindu or Indian nationalism. &2) The detailed information on the beginning of British Oriental scholarship and its relation to modern Hindu reformism. The attention will be particularly focused on the activities of Asiatic society of Bengal and the College of Fort William and their political background. &3) Modern Hindu reformism as represented by the personalities of Rammohan Ray and Brahmo Samaj and Svami Vivekananda and the Ramakrishna Mission.
After passing the course the students
  • understand the complex cultural interaction under colonialism;
  • are able to explain the history of Indian reformism, modernism and nationalism;
  • are able to describe basic patterns of British/orientalist misunderstandings concerning India;
  • are able to explain these patterns in relation to the state of Europen knowledge, ideology, economy and society of the time.
  • Syllabus
    • Organizational information and introduction to the course.
    • Orientalism and Imagined Religious Communities.
    • Historical framework.
    • Administration and Knowledge: Warren Hastings and Early Oriental Studies.
    • Wellesley and the College of Fort William.
    • College of Fort William and Bengali Intelligentsia.
    • Orientalism and Neo-Hindusm: Rammohan Ray.
    • Rammohan Ray: Hindu Revivalism?
    • Rammohan Ray, Brahmosamaj and Modernization of Hindu Mind.
    • Swami Vivekananda: Ramakrishna and Bhadralok.
    • Swami Vivekananda and Challenges of Modernity.
    • Final Discussion on students' essays (colloquium).
    Teaching methods
    Seminars and lectures
    Assessment methods
    It is expected that student submits an assay (5-10 pages) on whatever related topic. & The colloqium on this essay will be held as well.
    Language of instruction
    Teacher's information
    The course is provided in English medium so that it can be attended by foreign students of Masaryk University. In case there are no foreign students attending the course, the medium of instruction could be possibly changed into Czech. The literature will be discussed during the first lecture in order of and with reference to related topics and its usability for student's essays and further studies according to their special interests.
    The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2006, Autumn 2007, Autumn 2008, Autumn 2010.
    • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
    • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/spring2019/RLB208