The Repetition of Past Imperialisms: Hegel, Historical Difference and the Theorization of Indic Religions

Author: Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair


About: Arvind-Pal Mandair’s article “The Repetition of Past Imperialism” was published in History of Religions (Vol. 44 2005). The questions Mandair asks in this article are as following: Why is it that despite the recent proliferation of postcolonial critiques of Indology, its modern successors such as the history of religions and area studies—disciplines that are supposedly more open to the challenges of diversity and the particular—continue to reconstitute past imperialisms, such as the hegemony of theory as specifically Western and/or the division of intellectual labor between universal and particular knowledge formations? To answer this question this paper stages an oblique engagement among several seemingly divergent discourses: (i) the philosophy of religion, (ii) the history of religions (more specifically the area-specialism called South Asian religions), and (iii) postcolonial theory, especially where these three discourses intersect with the representation of Indic religious phenomena.


Arvind-Pal S. Mandair
Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures 

Tara Singh & Balwant Kaur Chattha, Gurbax Singh & Kirpal Kaur Brar Professor of Sikh Studies

Philosophy/Religion/Postcolonial Theory/Sikh Studies/South Asian Studies

Office: 202 South Thayer Street
Office 6016
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608

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