The First edition of this volume was published in 1981.Ten of the original nineteen chapter were presented as papers at a conference on ‘Religion in Modern India’ at the University of Lowa in 1980 organized by the editor. Wide acceptance of this work suggested the desirability of a second edition. That edition published in 1989 dropped a couple of original essays and added chapter by N Gerald Barrier on the Sikhs, Eric Sharpe on the Christians and John. R Hinnells on the Parses. When a third edition was suggested it presented an opportunity to add additional chapter on Hold G Coward on the Buddhist revival, Nancy E Falk on religion and the Indian Woman ‘s movement, and Robert D Baird on the thought of Swami Bhakti Vedanta. In this Fourth revised edition a new essay on Jainism by James F lewis has been added Further more all contributors were offered an opportunity to make revision in the original contributions A number of these revision were substantial.
Although this volume was initially Written by scholars for scholars, It has become a poplar text for courses in Indian religion and religion in modern India. The new chapters Should help fill in some of the gaps of the original volume. since 1981 there was been renewed interest in the study of modern India. We will continue to be satisfied if we are able to stimulate fresh thought and continued on the subject.
In 1913. J N Farquhar, Literary Secretary of the Y.M.C.A in India gave eight lectures at Hartford Seminary on Modern religious movement in India .” This become the title of an expanded version of the lectures published in 1915. The was wide ranging, and was based was available on money on the movement on which Farquhar wrote.
Farquhar was non only Knowledgeable, but operated with an overarching system of interpretation. “The old religion are the soil from which the modern movement spring; while it will be found that the seed has in the main, been sown b Missions” (p.l). Though marked by profound sympathy for the faith that he studied and about which he wrote was finally a missionary, and the significance of what he studied for the propagation of the Christian faith is found in all of his work.
For years Farquhar’s Modern Religious Movements’ in India has served as a basic interdiction in modern to religion in modern India. Even when his reader have not shared or appreciated missionary trust. The reign of Farquhar can be attributed to the level of his scholarship and to the fact that religion in modern India has received limited attention since his time, This was surely true in 1981 when the first edition of the present work was published.
With the Growing interest in India studies, and the Growing number of historian of religion who have developed competency in Sanskrit. It was the ancient and classical periods which received attention many modern thinkers were considered weak reflection of classical systems and the view has been widely held that if one’s time is limited it would be preferable to spend it with intellectual and spiritual giants of which the modern period has few. When thinkers such as Radhakrishnan and Eurobond were studied, they were frequently seen as interpreters of an ancient tradition, with little attention to the modification and or systematizations of those ancient traditions that there thought embodied Classicisis who studied the Indian tradition seldom applied their critical abilities to the modern period.
Those who did deign to study the modern period (1800 and on)were frequently anthropologists who study the little traditions" and who were more interested in the context then the text without minimizing the importance of classical studies or village studies. It was felt that after some sixty five years that those who studies religion in modern India were entitled to a new introduction on their area.
Since a modern Farquhar had not appeared on the academic horizon, a number of us look it upon ourselves to produce a composite work. We included some material not found in Farquhar and at the some time, some of the movement and topic found in Farquhar are not dealt with in this collection. Although the first edition approximated five hundred pages, it was still necessary to echo the frustrating of Farquhar, who in 1914 wrote in the preface to his work,” I have felt cramped for went of space. To deal with the whole subject adequate would have required two volume instead of one.” This Judgment remain true for this volume Nevertheless, we are confident that we have provided an interdiction to some of the important movement and thinkers in the study of religion in Modern India ,Guru cults continue to be inadequately represented and cult has been virtually ignored.
Since this is a composite work, it lacks the overarching interpretive framework of Farquhar Nevertheless all contributors have addressed their topic with the issues of religious change and continuity in mind Although our work was not done primarily on the basis of interviews and conversations, as was Farquhar’s most of the contributors have done extensive field work in India. And that the experience has enriched their contributions.
This volume is neither theological nor Missionary in intent. It stands squarely within the academic tradition of religion studies in that it deals with ultimate goals and values. It is historical in that it attempts a d descriptive analysis of the human past. All contributors have attempted a sympathetic analysis of their data. We are academics who have committed ourselves to the study of things Indian, There is, however, a difference between sympathetic study and advocacy. Advocacy goes beyond and has been excluded from this volume.
No bibliography has been included because of the extensive notes, which will supply the reader with sufficient bibliographical information to probe more deeply into the movements and thinkers we have considered.
Planning for this work began in the fall of 1978. Ten of the chapter of the first edition were presented at a conference on “religion in Modern India held at the University of lowa in April of 1980.In the second edition (1989). New chapter were included by N.Gerald Barrier on the Sikhs, Eric J. Sharpe on the Christians and Jone R. Hanne’s on the paresis . The third edition included three new chapter. Harold G Coward wrote on the Buddhist movement, Nancy E. Falk wrote on Religion and women and Robert D. Baird contributed an essay an essay on Swami Bhaktivedanta. In addition to this all contributors were given the opportunity to make revisions and updates on their chapter ,A number of the revisions were extensive .The fourth edtion adds an essay by James F. Lawis on “in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”.
Since 1981 there has been renewed interest in religion in modern India. We will be satisfied if this volume continues to stimulate fresh thought and continued research on the modern period.
The editor would be remiss if he did not express his appreciation to Ramesh and Ajay Jain of Monohar Published of this book in a fourth edition.
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend