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Modes of FaithSecular Surrogates for Lost Religious Belief$
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Theodore Ziolkowski

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226983639

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226983660.001.0001

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Pilgrimages to India

Pilgrimages to India

(p.83) Chapter Five Pilgrimages to India
Modes of Faith

Theodore Ziolkowski

University of Chicago Press

Many European thinkers, writers, and artists crisscrossed India on cultural pilgrimages in search of the paradise they regarded as lost in Western civilization—in the days when a trip to India meant weeks at sea and not just hours in a jet. At the turn of the century, Pierre Loti embarked on his quest for Vedic wisdom on the subcontinent. Three years later, the young German adventurer Waldemar Bonsels spent five months on the Malabar coast. Other notable travelers to India during the twentieth century were Max Dauthendey, Stefan Zweig, Melchior Lechter, Hermann Hesse, and Hermann von Keyserlinga. For various reasons, India emerged as a favored goal for cultural pilgrimages among European seekers after a surrogate for their lost faith. The strength of the wave can be judged by the reaction of George, a vigorous opponent of all mysticism, to Lechter's travel journals. Ever since the late eighteenth century, the extended official presence of England had produced a voluminous Anglo-Indian literature comprising plays, poems, and hundreds of stories and novels.

Keywords:   cultural pilgrimages, India, lost faith, Melchior Lechter, travel journals, Anglo-Indian literature, England, novels, poems, Hermann Hesse

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