Classrooms for Christ: Indian Responses to Protestant Christian Educational Initiatives, c1813-1858
While studies of how the Raj tried to buttress its dominance through acculturation are many, surprisingly few have closely investigated how this process operated in the context of "English education" - which in practice often meant Western education with a heavy bias towards Christian teaching, delivered by missionaries. Saidian theories imply that colonial subjects were easy fodder for acculturation, and do not give enough weight to agency. The Bombay conversion story told in this paper is at once a reflection of the hegemonic power of Western education, and a tribute to the ability of Indians to differentiate between the aspects of it which were valuable to them and those that were culturally anathema.
Keywords: Christianity, missionaries, Bombay, Said
Associate Professor Ian Copland
Associate Professor, School of Historical Studies, Monash University