chapter  4
Decrowning Farquhar’s Hinduism
Pages 4

This chapter looks at a seminal nineteenth-century missionary text, The Crown of Hinduism (1913) by a Protestant Scottish missionary, John Nichol Farquhar (1861-1929), a text that propounded a thesis that came to be known as “inclusivism.”1 His other important works include A Primer of Hinduism (1912), Modern Religious Movements in India (1929), and An Outline of the Religious Literature of India (1920). Farquhar arrived in India at a time of rising national consciousness and Hindu awakening in the face of intense missionary proselytization. Seen in the light of the then prevailing missionary attitudes, the inclusivist stance does not dismiss Hinduism but sees it as finding enrichment and fulfillment in Jesus Christ. The chapter will provide some significant examples of Farquhar’s notion of fulfillment from a postcolonial perspective. In examining Farquhar’s construction of Hinduism, I will draw on David Spurr’s rhetorical strategies of classification and appropriation – strategies worked out by the West to manage non-Western cultures and textual practices.