chapter  2
Max Müller
Mobilizing texts and managing Hinduism
Pages 3

This chapter investigates the kind of India and Hinduism Friedrich Max Müller (1823-1900) represents, both in his public discourses and in his personal letters. Müller is mainly known for the series of volumes he edited, Sacred Books of the East. I will be drawing upon various works from among the voluminous literature he produced, but will be focusing primarily on his wellknown Cambridge lectures published under the title, India: what can it teach us? Müller was invited by Cambridge University in 1882 to give a set of lectures on “some Indian subject, with special view to Indian Civil Service students” (Müller 1902b: 107). They were intended to challenge and rectify prejudices about India as a strange country, about its people being morally depraved, and its ancient Sanskrit literature and language having little relevance for Europeans.