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Grant number like: FEL-263292-19

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Tyler Walker Williams
University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)
In God’s Bazaar: Merchant Religiosity in Early Modern India

Research for a history of pre-colonial India (1550-1750), focused on the role of merchant families in shaping religious and literary traditions.

This project uncovers and explains the relationship between mercantile sensibilities, new modes of religious thought and practice, and the rise of vernacular literature in north India during the early modern period, ca. 1550-1750. By tracing the involvement of merchant families and networks in the origin and development of sectarian religious communities and in the creation and dissemination of new literary genres, I provide new explanations for the emergence of distinctly modern forms of individual and social identity prior to the colonial period. I also demonstrate that merchants and their particular worldview played a central role in the construction of religious, literary, and intellectual networks that would later become the foundation for an Indian public sphere.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Nonwestern Religion; South Asian Literature; South Asian Studies


Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019