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Slavery, Abolitionism and Empire in India, 1772-1843$
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Andrea Major

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846317583

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317255

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date: 21 November 2017

‘Satan's Wretched Slaves’: Indian Society and the Evangelical Imagination

‘Satan's Wretched Slaves’: Indian Society and the Evangelical Imagination

Chapter:
(p.246) 7 ‘Satan's Wretched Slaves’: Indian Society and the Evangelical Imagination
Source:
Slavery, Abolitionism and Empire in India, 1772-1843
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846317255.013

During the 1810s and 1820s, there was a dearth of information about slavery in India, especially when compared to the abundance of material available on labour practices in the Western hemisphere. Missionaries and other Christian observers were aware of the existence of slavery in India even before the turn of the nineteenth century, but their failure to investigate the issue is in stark contrast with their reactions to sati. Historians of abolitionism have proposed theories to explain evangelical disengagement from the issue of slavery in India. This chapter explores specific constructions of Indian society and religion, particularly Hinduism, according to the evangelical imagination in colonial India. It looks at two examples of articulations of the case for missionary activity in India, by Charles Grant and William Wilberforce, and also examines issues associated with caste, idolatry, sensibility, empathy, the so-called pornography of pain, gender, domesticity, and the emotional suffering of slaves.

Keywords:   India, slavery, missionaries, Hinduism, Charles Grant, William Wilberforce, pornography of pain, caste, slaves, emotional suffering

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