Indian Gods, Sages And Cities
The confrontation in Bengal between the aggressive evangelism of the Christian missionaries and the new rationalism of the Brahmo Samajists too often lead to heated debates, each group stating and restating their respective positions vehemently. These debates threw up a whole body of literature much of which lay scattered in contemporary journals. The present work is a typical specimen of this polemical literature, but with a difference. The Brahmo leaders? attack had for its target Christian doctrines as propounded by English Protestant Masters ?and some of the French and German infields such as Rousseau, Voltaire, Strauss, Comte and others of the same stuff, and thence they infer that Christianity of Catholicity is a ridiculous institution?. The author contends that this has led to a distortion of perspective. The present book which restates the Catholic position claims to restore it. The first part of the book which is a discussion of the essential features of the Hindu religious doctrines provides a profile of the Hindu pantheon and analyses the Hindu as well as the Catholic views regarding idolatry. Part two is a critical assessment of the Brahmo doctrines. The third part is almost a travelogue detailing the impressions collected during a long journey by the author from Calcutta, through upper India, to Bombay. The vivid sketches, profusely embellished with curious facts and details of towns and cities on the route make absorbing reading. The fourth part provides one of the finest descriptions of late 19th Century Calcutta to which is added a commentary on the style of daily living of the Hindus of the city. The book provides a fine portrayal of the late 19th Century socio-religious landscape of North India in general and Bengal and Calcutta in particular.
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