By Timothy S. Dobe
"In the mid-nineteenth century, the yankee missionary James Butler estimated that Christian conversion and British legislations jointly may remove Indian ascetics. His disgust for Hindu holy males (sadhus), whom he referred to as "saints," "yogis," and "filthy fakirs," used to be principally shared by means of orientalist students and British officers, who likewise imagined those non secular elites to be a number one symptom of India's degeneration. but inside of a few thirty years of Butler's writing, sleek Indian ascetics reminiscent of the neo-Vedantin Hindu Swami Rama Tirtha (1873-1906) and, sarcastically, the Protestant Christian convert Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929) completed overseas reputation as embodiments of the religious superiority of the East over the West. Timothy S. Dobe's fine-grained account of the lives of Sundar Singh and Rama Tirtha deals a window at the dazzling reversals and potentials of Indian ascetic "sainthood" within the colonial touch area. His examine develops a brand new version of Indian holy males that's historicized, religiously pluralistic, and found in the tensions and intersections of ascetic perform and modernity. the 1st in-depth account of 2 internationally-recognized glossy holy males within the colonially-crucial zone of Punjab, Hindu Christian Faqir deals new examples and contexts for pondering via those wider matters. Drawing on unexplored Urdu writings by means of and approximately either figures, Dobe argues not just that Hinduism and Protestant Christianity are right here in detail associated, yet that those hyperlinks are solid from the stuff of nearby Islamic traditions of Sufi holy males (faqir). He additionally re-conceives Indian sainthood via an in-depth exam of ascetic perform as embodied faith, public functionality, and dating, instead of as a theological, otherworldly, and remoted ideal"-- Read more...