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The Caste Connection : on the sacred foundations of social hierarchy

Jakob De Roover (UGent) and Sarah Claerhout (UGent)
(2015) THEATRUM HISTORIAE. 17. p.9-36
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Abstract
Today, some commentators argue that the caste system in India is founded in Hinduism; others deny this in the case. This article argues that we do not possess any conceptual apparatus to address this question today, because it was originally raised and answered in a Christian-theological context. The secularization of a Protestant-Christian notion of false religion gave shape to the European conception of ‘the caste system’ as an immoral social hierarchy. Basic theological ideas about the connection between false religion and social practice were transformed into topoi of social theorizing, which constituted the caste system as an experiential entity and conceptual unit in the Western cultural experience of India.
Keywords
Protestantism, hierarchy, Reformation, India, caste system, Hinduism

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
De Roover, Jakob, and Sarah Claerhout. 2015. “The Caste Connection : on the Sacred Foundations of Social Hierarchy.” Theatrum Historiae 17: 9–36.
APA
De Roover, J., & Claerhout, S. (2015). The Caste Connection : on the sacred foundations of social hierarchy. THEATRUM HISTORIAE, 17, 9–36.
Vancouver
1.
De Roover J, Claerhout S. The Caste Connection : on the sacred foundations of social hierarchy. THEATRUM HISTORIAE. 2015;17:9–36.
MLA
De Roover, Jakob, and Sarah Claerhout. “The Caste Connection : on the Sacred Foundations of Social Hierarchy.” THEATRUM HISTORIAE 17 (2015): 9–36. Print.
@article{7087576,
  abstract     = {Today, some commentators argue that the caste system in India is founded in Hinduism; others deny this in the case. This article argues that we do not possess any conceptual apparatus to address this question today, because it was originally raised and answered in a Christian-theological context. The secularization of a Protestant-Christian notion of false religion gave shape to the European conception of {\textquoteleft}the caste system{\textquoteright} as an immoral social hierarchy. Basic theological ideas about the connection between false religion and social practice were transformed into topoi of social theorizing, which constituted the caste system as an experiential entity and conceptual unit in the Western cultural experience of India.},
  author       = {De Roover, Jakob and Claerhout, Sarah},
  issn         = {1802-2502},
  journal      = {THEATRUM HISTORIAE},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {9--36},
  title        = {The Caste Connection : on the sacred foundations of social hierarchy},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2015},
}