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The Regulation of Religion and the Making of Hinduism in Colonial Trinidad$
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Alexander Rocklin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469648712

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469648712.001.0001

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Converting Religion

Converting Religion

(p.37) 2 Converting Religion
The Regulation of Religion and the Making of Hinduism in Colonial Trinidad

Alexander Rocklin

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter, focusing on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, looks at the ways in which disciplinary institutions (plantations, schools, orphanages, the police, courts, and jails) helped to insinuate colonial categories, including the category religion, into the lives of Indians. British ideals for religion and labor were intertwined in colonial Trinidad. The ruling classes hoped that Christianization would give Indian indentured laborers greater self-restraint and make them better workers. While most Indians did not convert, Christianity was the unstated norm for religion in the colony, and Indians used that authoritative model to translate their practices for colonial representatives, transforming those practices in the process.

Keywords:   indentured labor, race, religious freedom, tolerance

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