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Catholicisme et hindouisme populaire à l'île de La Reunion : contacts, échanges (milieu du XIXe-début du XXe siècle)

Abstract : The religious practices of people of Indian origin in Reunion Island, former French colony, get an originality. Many families claim to belong both from Catholicism and Hinduism. Is this situation stem from an accommodation of Hinduism to Catholicism, or from an old domination of one cult on the other? Previous works on this issue highlight the excesses committed by Catholic priests against Indian immigrants during the indenture period, from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. These works, initiated during the 1980s, advance the argument of a persecution of the Church on the Indians, leading to the "double religious practice", a direct consequence of these supposed excesses. This PhD thesis intends to reexamine the arguments put forward, and tries to analyze the religious situation of the indentured Indian during this period. The elements are studied through the prism of the social and religious world in the nineteenth century. In a comparative perspective, the situation of other diasporas, such as Mauritius, is questioned, as is the question of religions in the national context. The evolution of relations between the Church and the Power during the Third French Republic is discussed. Although their proximity is certain at the beginning of the colonization, these links remain very strong even after the French Revolution, but the action of the Republicans in mainland France and in the colonies impacts the position of Catholicism. The vitality of the worship of the Hindu working in the sugar plantations, the presence of many indentured labourers from the “Comptoir français” of Pondicherry, a region which boasted a strong Catholic missionaries activity in the nineteenth century, the interactions between the different worships on these territories are all factors that allow us to address the question from the angle of interactions and contacts between religions. These take place way before the 19th century in India and the Mascarenes. Their study in the eighteenth century shed light on the adhesion to both religious spheres by the Indians of Reunion Island. From these new perspectives, running counter to the theses released in the 1980s, the population of Indian origin of Reunion Island is presented in the nineteenth century as a development actor of its integration into the Creole society, and of the historical religious practices process.
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Céline Ramsamy-Giancone. Catholicisme et hindouisme populaire à l'île de La Reunion : contacts, échanges (milieu du XIXe-début du XXe siècle). Histoire. Université de la Réunion, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LARE0048⟩. ⟨tel-02477436⟩



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