Dermot Killingley, Polemic and Dialogue in Rammohun Roy

Rammohun Roy (1772?-1833) was the first Indian intellectual to have regular correspondence with his counterparts in Europe and the United States. At the same time, from 1815 to his death, he was engaged in public controversy on religious matters, with both Christian and Hindu opponents.
While all his published writing on religion was polemical, it can be read as a dialogue between the hermeneutic traditions in which he worked: Vedanta and Bible-based Christianity. The recurrent themes of this dialogue include the unity and transcendence of God as oppposed to polytheism and idolatry, morality as opposed to belief and ritual, equality as opposed to privilege, and reason as opposed to received authority.

Dermot Killingley was Reader in Hindu Studies at the University of Newcastle, and was Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna in 2008.


The text of this lecture has been published in revised and enlarged form as PDNRLO VII.