3. The Making of the Ideal Transnational Disciple: Unravelling Biographies of Margaret Noble/Sister Nivedit

Translocal Lives and Religion - Connections between Asia and Europe in the Late Modern World - Philippe Bornet

Gwilym Beckerlegge [+-]
Open University
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Gwilym Beckerlegge studied religions at the Universities of Oxford and Lancaster, and is currently Professor of Modern Religions in the Department of Religious Studies at The Open University, UK. His research centres on the growth of sevā within the Ramakrishna Math and Mission and other contemporary Hindu movements. Publications include Swami Vivekananda’s Legacy of Service: A Study of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission (2006), Colonialism, Modernity and Religious Identities(2008) (editor and contributor), and “Sevā: The Focus of a Fragmented but Gradually Coalescing Field of Study.” Religions of South Asia 9(2), 2015.

Description

This chapter departs from the representation of Margaret Noble/Sister Nivedita (1867‒1911) popularized by emic biographies. These have tended to treat her eclectic spiritual life, with all its fluid complexity, as merely preparatory to her meeting Swami Vivekananda (1863‒1902) in London, and to attribute the roots of her commitment to the cause of Indian nationalism, after her initiation as his disciple, to a deep-seated Irish nationalism inculcated by her family. Instead, by extending the concept of “translocalism”, this chapter will explore Nivedita’s life as a “translocal space”. It will be suggested that the distinctive transnational course of Nivedita’s life, between two seats of resistance to British colonial rule via the capital of the British Empire, gave rise to ambivalence and unresolved tensions that she exhibited in relation to her identity and the direction of her career.

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Citation

Beckerlegge, Gwilym. 3. The Making of the Ideal Transnational Disciple: Unravelling Biographies of Margaret Noble/Sister Nivedit. Translocal Lives and Religion - Connections between Asia and Europe in the Late Modern World. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Mar 2020. ISBN 9781781795835. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=34763. Date accessed: 17 Nov 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34763. Mar 2020

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