Skip to main content

Swami Vivekananda Revisited. Continental Collision and the (Re)Packaging of Hindu Traditions

Mahtani, Nandini Arun (2017) Swami Vivekananda Revisited. Continental Collision and the (Re)Packaging of Hindu Traditions. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:66485)

Language: English
Download (1MB) Preview
[thumbnail of 157NMahtani_FinalThesis.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format


This study seeks to analyze the how Vivekananda's voice impacted the (re)packaging of Hindu traditions in the 19th century. By first problematizing the Western terms 'religion' and 'Hinduism' It will establish the framework within which Vivekananda's influence can be understood. It uses the term 'continental collision' to demonstrate how the East and West impacted each other thereby confirming that the exchange of ideas was multidirectional and not one sided. This study highlights Vivekananda's Indian roots and local influences thereby taking into account the fact that Vivekananda's voice was uniquely Indian and not simply a result of Western ideology. This volume relies extensively on Swami Vivekananda's English publications thereby allowing Vivekananda to speak for himself. It surveys Vivekananda's experiences at the Parliament of Religions in 1893 and his triumphant return in order to determine how he was able to cultivate a hierarchy which privileged Advaita Vedanta over all other native Indian traditions. By highlighting the way Vivekananda created the hierarchy amongst Indian traditions, a hierarchy that is still thriving in modern India, it draws attention to how this is detrimental to the integrity of the Indian landmass. Using modern scholarship, it shines a light on the way Vivekananda's ideas have been appropriated by the Hindutva movement who, in turn, have interpreted his hierarchy to be in support of creating a Hindu state in India. Thus, it reveals how this particularly Indian voice of Vivekananda's, due to the immense 'continental collision' that occurred during the British Raj, was able to (re)package Hindu traditions; a repackaging that resulted in a hierarchy that must be dismantled by Hindus today.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: King, Richard
Uncontrolled keywords: Swami Vivekananda, Colonialism, Continental Collision, (Re)Packaging Hindu Traditions, Hinduism, India, British Raj, 19th Century, Religion, Western Traditions, Ideology, Ramakrishna Mission, Parliament of Religions Chicago 1893, Hierarchy, Advaita Vedanta, modern India, Hindutva, Hindu
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2018 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 01:41 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year