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Yelle: The Language of Disenchantment

Yelle, Robert A.:
The Language of Disenchantment : Protestant Literalism and Colonial Discourse in British India / Robert A. Yelle. - New York : Oxford University Press, 2013. - xxii, 298 S.
ISBN 978-0-19-992499-8
US$ 99,00 / £ 60,00 (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-0-19-992501-8
US$ 35,00 / £ 22,50 (Paperback)
DDC: 261.245

The Language of Disenchantment explores the ways in which Protestant ideas concerning language influenced British colonial attitudes toward and proposals to reform Hinduism. Protestant literalism, mediated by the textual economy of the printed book, inspired colonial critiques of Indian mythological, ritual, linguistic, and legal traditions. Central to these developments was the transportation of the Christian opposition of monotheism and polytheism or idolatry into the domain of language. Polemics against verbal idolatry that had been applied previously to Catholic and sectarian practices in Britain -including the elevation of a scriptural canon over heathenish custom, the attack on the personifications of mythological language, and the critique of "vain repetitions" in prayers and magic spells-were applied by colonialists to Indian linguistic practices. In order to remedy these diseases of language, the British attempted to standardize and codify Indian traditions as a step toward both Anglicization and Christianization. The colonial understanding of a perfect language as the fulfillment of the monotheistic ideal echoed earlier Christian myths according to which the Gospel had replaced the obscure discourses of pagan oracles and Jewish ritual. By uncovering the historical roots of the British re-ordering of South Asian discourses, Yelle's work challenges representations of colonialism, and the modernity that it ushered in, as simply rational or secular. [Verlagsinformation]

Preface. ix
Acknowledgments. xvii
Abbreviations. xxi
1. Orientalism and the Language of Disenchantment. 3
2. "A Disease of Language": The Attack on Hindu Myth as Verbal Idolatry. 33
3. "One Step from Babel to Pentecost": Colonial Codification, Universal Languages, and the Debate over Roman Transliteration. 71
4. "Vain Repetitions": The Attack on Hindu Mantras. 103
5. The Hindu Moses: Christian Polemics against Jewish Ritual and the Secularization of Hindu Law. 137
Afterword. 161
Notes. 165
Bibliography. 253
Index. 285


ROBERT A. YELLE is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Helen Hardin Honors Program at the University of Memphis. He received a Ph.D. in the History of Religions from the University of Chicago. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author of Explaining the Mantras and The Semiotics of Religion, and co-author of After Secular Law. Profile page.

Quellen: Oxford University Press (USA); Oxford University Press (UK); WorldCat; Library of Congress; Bookbutler; Open ISBN; Google Books
Bildquelle: Oxford University Press (UK)
Bibliographie: [1]