Colonialism and Religion
How did European colonialism engage, interrogate, administer, and transform religious traditions across the colonised world?
In this course, we will look at how religion emerges alongside global economic systems, as a measure of civilisation, modernity, and progress. You will examine the impact of colonial expansion in the nineteenth century on religious traditions within Europe and in the colonised world. We examine imperial activities and the history and ideology of colonial expansion. Some locations we focus on are areas of British colonialism, Southern Africa, East and South Asia, and the working-classes within Britain. We shall see how religious discourses played an active role in legitimising colonial expansion, formulating modern religious identities and national cultures, ushering modernisation and westernisation, and manufacturing the very concept of “World Religions.”