Alexander RocklinSep 23, 2019
The Regulation of Religion and the Making of Hinduism in Colonial Trinidad
University of North Carolina Press 2019
Beginning in the mid 19th century, thousands of indentured laborers traveled from India to the Caribbean, and many settled in Trinidad. In The Regulation of Religion and the Making of Hinduism in Colonial Trinidad (University of North Carolina Press, 2019) Alexander Rocklin argues that the beliefs and practices they recreated in the new world only became recognizable as a discrete entity we now call “religion” over time and as the result of social and political processes. This book tells the story of the making of Hindu in the British colonial Caribbean. Over time, interactions between colonial officials, elite Indians and workers, as well as conflicts over public performances of rituals produced something that many now call Hinduism. But Rocklin argues that this was not necessarily a foregone conclusion, and his book highlights the contingent nature of this process.