Scholars and Prophets-Sociology of India from France 19th – 20th centuries
Roland Lardinois
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Social Science Press

This is the first book in the Series. Scholars and Prophets deals with the historical genesis of the long and rich  scholarship on India in France since the beginning of 19th century, with particular reference to the work of Louis Dumont It considers the works of  scholars and the essayists, poets, or esotericists who published on India and shows that Dumont has been influenced by both groups. This understanding illuminates the main criticism that is still addressed to Homo Hierarchicus, which is that in this book Dumont mistook the internal, Brahminical view point on the caste system for a sociological  view.

In the course of  explaining the French intellectual tradition   the author relates many fascinating interactions and little known anecdotes of  famous men and women which capture the intellectually vibrant  climate of the time.  

In the last chapter, the book contrasts Dumont’s work with issues raised by McKim Marriott’s project? and the Subaltern Studies from India. It defends that the core issue dealt with by all scholars is the epistemic status given to scientific knowledge of Indian society.

A very interesting feature of this book is the manner in which Roland Lardinois provides well written profiles of leading intellectuals .Both scholars and students of the social sciences will find this book very useful.

Roland Lardinois is a sociologist, Research Fellow (HDR) at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), member of the Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (UMR 8564) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Since November 2009 he has joined the Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi.

Introduction: Genesis of the sociology of India
Prologue: René Daumal and the autofiction of the cultural field
Part One
The Genesis of a Savant Milieu (1795-1927)
Chapter 1. The struggle for academic legitimacy
Chapter 2. Orientalist knowledge and prophetic discourses
Chapter 3. The Struggle for institutional autonomy
Part Two
Scholars and Prophets (The interwar period)
Chapter 4. The field of scholarship on India in the 1930s
Chapter 5. Scholarly practices
Chapter 6. Prophetic strategies
Chapter 7. Hinduism as a disciplinary issue
Part Three
Social Science and Indigenous Science
(Second half of the 20th century)
Chapter 8. Louis Dumont and the indigenous science
Chapter 9. Louis Dumont and the cunning of reason
Chapter 10. The Avatara of scholarship on India
Conclusion. Sociology put to the test of India
Postscript. Note on the construction of a research subject
Appendix: Multi Correspondence Analysis
Postface to the English-language edition
List of documents, tables, figures
Sources and bibliography

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