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Ramakrishna: Personality and Social Factors in the Growth of a Religious Movement

Leo Schneiderman
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 8, No. 1 (Spring, 1969), pp. 60-71
DOI: 10.2307/1385254
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1385254
Page Count: 12
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Ramakrishna: Personality and Social Factors in the Growth of a Religious Movement
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Abstract

The Ramakrishna movement, beginning in nineteenth century India, and represented today by many schools, hospitals, publishing houses, and missions, is analyzed as an example of a modern religious movement. Among the factors examined are the influence of Ramakrishna's personality in supplying the passional and charismatic underpinnings of the movement, the role of westernizing supporters, the relationship of Ramakrishna to his disciples, and the process by which hero-worship was replaced by a service-orientation. The general thesis is that the Ramakrishna movement owed much of its strength initially to its striking fusion of an archaic, traditionalist rhetoric with a "modern" set of meliorative goals.

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