What prevented India/China from being Christianized or Islamicized?
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January 20, 2022, 09:54:43 AM

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  What prevented India/China from being Christianized or Islamicized?
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Author Topic: What prevented India/China from being Christianized or Islamicized?  (Read 383 times)
Blue3
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« on: January 10, 2022, 05:52:25 PM »

What prevented India/China from being Christianized or Islamicized, unlike most of the world?
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MRS KSHAMA SAWANT
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2022, 10:37:25 PM »

Having entrenched political bodies against such a change that could meaningfully defend their turf for centuries.
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Blue3
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2022, 12:24:18 PM »

Having entrenched political bodies against such a change that could meaningfully defend their turf for centuries.
I don't think so. India was ruled by the Muslim Mughal Emperors for centuries. And the Chinese dynasties weren't always strong, and their native religions weren't evangelical religions themselves.
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MRS KSHAMA SAWANT
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2022, 12:33:59 PM »

Having entrenched political bodies against such a change that could meaningfully defend their turf for centuries.
I don't think so. India was ruled by the Muslim Mughal Emperors for centuries. And the Chinese dynasties weren't always strong, and their native religions weren't evangelical religions themselves.
The local Hindu leaders managed to have autonomy and due to their numbers and the diversity of religious thought survive these centuries while resisting the central government. Same in China.
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Blue3
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2022, 12:41:27 PM »

Having entrenched political bodies against such a change that could meaningfully defend their turf for centuries.
I don't think so. India was ruled by the Muslim Mughal Emperors for centuries. And the Chinese dynasties weren't always strong, and their native religions weren't evangelical religions themselves.
The local Hindu leaders managed to have autonomy and due to their numbers and the diversity of religious thought survive these centuries while resisting the central government. Same in China.
And this just didn't exist anywhere else in the world, that was Christianized/Islamicized?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2022, 12:52:51 PM »

Tell me you know nothing of the history of India without telling me that you know nothing of the history of India.
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MRS KSHAMA SAWANT
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2022, 02:44:33 PM »

Tell me you know nothing of the history of India without telling me that you know nothing of the history of India.
This post tells no one not a thing about anything. Care to expand further?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2022, 03:35:33 PM »

Tell me you know nothing of the history of India without telling me that you know nothing of the history of India.
This post tells no one not a thing about anything. Care to expand further?

Approximately how many Muslims are there in the Subcontinent and what has been the general cultural impact of Islam on it since the Middle Ages?
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Beet
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2022, 04:47:40 PM »

A better question is, why did so much of the world adopt two religions that originated in a very concentrated part of it? Perhaps because one of them is actually (roughly) true and is favored by the Hand of God.
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Blue3
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2022, 08:02:38 PM »

Tell me you know nothing of the history of India without telling me that you know nothing of the history of India.
I've lived in India.

It obviously has Muslim influences (and to some extent Christian influences, especially in Goa).

But India was not Islamicized/Christianized in the same way Europe/Americas/Russia/Australia/NorthAfrica/MiddleEast were.
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MRS KSHAMA SAWANT
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2022, 08:26:49 PM »

Tell me you know nothing of the history of India without telling me that you know nothing of the history of India.
This post tells no one not a thing about anything. Care to expand further?

Approximately how many Muslims are there in the Subcontinent and what has been the general cultural impact of Islam on it since the Middle Ages?
I and this thread is asking you this question
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2022, 08:53:13 PM »

I and this thread is asking you this question

To which I responded with a rhetorical question, because this is very much in the territory of 'extremely basic knowledge'. There are approximately half a billion Muslims living in the Subcontinent, incidentally; about a third of all Muslims on Earth.
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Blue3
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2022, 09:23:15 PM »

I and this thread is asking you this question

To which I responded with a rhetorical question, because this is very much in the territory of 'extremely basic knowledge'. There are approximately half a billion Muslims living in the Subcontinent, incidentally; about a third of all Muslims on Earth.
And yet India is not Islamicized. Why?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2022, 09:54:01 PM »

And yet India is not Islamicized. Why?

What do you even mean by that? Most of the Subcontinent operated under Islamic law of one form or another from the Middle Ages until the Maratha rebellions and the rise of the East India Company in the 18th century. During this period Islamic cultural and political supremacy was absolute: it even shaped modern Hinduism to a considerable extent.* Large parts also ended up with Muslim-majority populations: they are not in the modern Republic of India because they were hived off during Partition (which I presume you've heard of) to create Pakistan.

*The divergent character of Hinduism in the south of India (parts of which were always out of reach for the various Islamic empires or which were only ruled by them for brief periods) and elsewhere is often noted and, well, this is the reason for that.
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Blue3
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2022, 10:44:44 PM »

It’s rather self-explanatory, but I’ll explain to make it clearer for you. The majority of India did not convert to Islam, it was just localized mostly to the parts that became Pakistan and Bangladesh. Not even close to the entire country. Why wasn’t India “Islamicized” like Iran/Persia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria, Central Asia, North Africa, etc?
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c r a b c a k e
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« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2022, 07:58:27 AM »

Essentially a lack of interest from the Turkic states that made up the ruling dynasties, who preferred to patronage and ally with certain Hindu sects; that Hinduism is a fairly decentralised faith which can survive relatively unmolested without kingly patronage (something which can not be said for the lingering remnants of Buddhism in the subcontinent) the persistence of the caste structure and the fact that India was never under any complete Islamic control, even at peak Mughal.

As for Christianity, the Brits main priorities were cash and stability, not God.
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khuzifenq
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« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2022, 03:17:16 PM »

It’s rather self-explanatory, but I’ll explain to make it clearer for you. The majority of India did not convert to Islam, it was just localized mostly to the parts that became Pakistan and Bangladesh. Not even close to the entire country. Why wasn’t India “Islamicized” like Iran/Persia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria, Central Asia, North Africa, etc?

The politically correct answer is that like Medieval China, Medieval India was already too old and too populous of a civilization to have its indigenous religious traditions and social order completely uprooted by Islam (or Christianity, in the case of Medieval China).

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I would instead submit that we’re well on our way to a tri-polar world where all those 20th and early 21st-century foes actually collapse into a single sphere characterized more by its deeply intertwined roots than tiny distinctions among its branches. Instead, the greatest contrasts I foresee the world grappling with in decades to come include the deep differences among the two cultural giants who effectively sat out the global 20th century. And not just each of their distinct contrasts with the West.

“The West and the Rest” has an irresistible ring, but when you get down to it, the incommensurability of Indian culture to that of China yawns just as unfathomably, or more so than that between the West and either Asian giant. For my money, the irreconcilable cultural poles the remaining century will bring into focus are these three ancient traditions: the broader Abrahamic West, the Chinese sphere and the Indian one.

We live in a globalized world. But our hyperconnected landscape has notably not produced a flat homogeneity of values. India, China and the West, which encompasses Christian Europe and the Muslim Near East, continue to serve as distinct and unique cores of human civilization. These three great pillars of human tradition reflect profoundly different values and orientations in their elite cultures. We have pragmatic China, philosophical India and a broader West threading a path between the two. Most remaining civilizations can easily be understood as both derivative and a synthesis of these traditions. Latin America is broadly Western, with indigenous American and African elements. Southeast Asian nations balance Indian, Chinese, Islamic and indigenous influences.
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Statilius the Epicurean
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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2022, 05:03:34 AM »

Muslim states dominated the subcontinent from what, ~1200 to ~1750? Over the same length of time of about 600 years from conquest Egypt had only very recently lost its Christian majority and there were still large religious minorities in the Levant and Iran. Really though Hindustan was a very large and decentralised country and Muslim rulers generally cut deals for support with local Hindu elites like the Rajputs or Brahmin administrators. And it's reasonable to venture that they were reluctant to convert to Islam because their social status was mediated through caste: going from proud Brahmin to ordinary Muslim (who would still be ethnically below and separated from the Turco-Persian Islamic elite) was not a very attractive proposition.

As for China, social advancement was through the imperial examination system based on memorising the Confucian classics. So converting to Islam or Christianity would get you nowhere. Matteo Ricci tried to convert mandarins at the court and only had limited success by introducing them to Euclid and western astronomy.
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