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The Modern Spirit of AsiaThe Spiritual and the Secular in China and India$
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Peter van der Veer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691128146

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691128146.001.0001

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(p.214) Chapter 9 Conclusion
The Modern Spirit of Asia

Peter van der Veer

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter explains the significance of comparing the social location of religion, spirituality, magic, and secularity in India and China. Such a comparison shows the differential impact of Western imperialism on India and China. Of course Indian and Chinese societies have deep histories, and these histories have resulted in fundamental differences, but in both cases modernity has been mediated by imperialism. India was colonized for a century, while China was under imperial pressure but not made into a colony. This difference in the nature of imperial interactions can be conceptualized as a difference in state formation and in what Foucault calls “governmentality.” However, while state formation is a crucial historical process, one cannot simply see cultural processes as straightforwardly resulting from state formation.

Keywords:   religion, spirituality, magic, secularity, India, China, Western imperialism, modernity, state formation

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