British Christian Missionaries
•Ram Mohan Roy + the Brahmo Samaj
•Sri RamaKrishna and Swami Vivekananda
British South Asia 1750-1947
•The British made their capital in Calcutta and at first, refused to let Christian
missionaries practice in the Calcutta area.
•Baptist Protestant missionaries did settle across the river from Calcutta, in
Serampore; they denounced the caste system and the worship of Idols, eventually
creating a dialogue with elitist Hindus Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833) and the Brahmo
•Ram Mohan Roy is heralded as the first reformer of Hindu tradition-Zaehner pp.150
•Ram Mohan Roy was born to a wealthy, high caste Hindu family-Kulin Brahman
•At age 12 he was sent to Patna, Bihar, a center of Muslim learning to learn Persian,
which the British maintained as the language of administration for non-English
•There, he also learned Arabic. Also, he became a radical monotheist and hence,
against image (Idol) worship. At age 15 Ram Mohan returned home, where he
argued with his father about “Idol Worship” this caused him to leave home.
•Ram Mohan traveled to Tibet, then he settled in Benares, where he learned Sanskrit
and studied the Upanishads-Vedanta
•He held that the concept of Brahman, as the one, the godhead predated image
worship-also, no caste system-hence, Vedanta was the essence of Hindu tradition
before it became corrupted.
•In 1803, his father died + Ram Mohan returned to Calcutta, where he was a revenue
officer for the East India company (British)
•In 1803, he wrote a gift for the monotheists, in Persian, which argued for