ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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French Jesuit Scientists in India

The intellectual activity finally culminating in the grand theoretical syntheses of the celestial sciences towards the end of the 18th century followed a century's toil undertaken by Jesuit scientists and traveller's posted outside Europe. This essay briefly addressed the endeavour of the French Jesuits who landed in India during the late 17th and first half of the 18th centuries. The Jesuit scientists of the period were inaugurators of a discourse on India and Indian historical astronomy marked by ambiguity, where fascination and dismissal so together; where the enchantment with the new world and its distinct knowledge forms provide the occasion for enriching the self in cognitive and cultural terms, and through an act of distantiation, of redefining the self as superior.

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