A book mostly about religion in India but with about 1/3 on Burma, and Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia taken as a whole. In this book the author, a missionary in India for 33 years, attempts to accurately describe India and Malaysia to an American audience, and does so successfully. In spite of being a missionary, the writing is more factual than it is proselytising, and Thoburn manages to describe the nuances of India. About a third of the book is dedicated to Christianity in India, including the early Syriacs/Nestorian, Francis Xavier etc, along with the missions of the colonial period which he was involved in. Other chapters are on such topics as Hinduism and Islam, Indian women, and the dispossessed peoples. A chapter is devoted to the Straits Settlements, and another to the Malaysian Mission. There are also some fascinating photographs in this books, including one of the Sultan of Johor.
The People of India
The Empire of India
India and England
The Religions of India
New Religious Movements
Early Christianity in India
Several chapters on Thoburn’s work
The Women of India
Education among Women
The Straits Settlements
The Malaysian Mission
About the author (from Wikipedia):
James Mills Thoburn (March 7, 1836 – November 28, 1922) was an American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church best known for his missionary work in India.
Thoburn was born on March 7, 1836 in St. Clairsville, Ohio and graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1857, beginning his Methodist preaching ministry that same year in the Pittsburgh Conference. He was ordained an Elder in 1858.
He went to India as a missionary in 1859 and was stationed successively at Nynee Tal, Moradabad, Lucknow, and Calcutta, where he founded Calcutta Boys’ School in 1877. Preaching in both the native and European languages, he built the largest church in India at that time. As presiding Elder of the Indian Conference, he preached for some time at Simla, the summer capital of India, and was for five years editor of the Indian Witness.
After an accident, he returned to the United States in 1886. At the 1888 Methodist Episcopal General Conference, held in New York City, he was elected missionary bishop of India and Malaysia. He published the book My Missionary Apprenticeship in 1884, a history of twenty-five years in India, and a collection entitled Missionary Sermons in 1888. Other works included The Deaconess and her Vocation (1893), Christless Nations (1894), The Church of Pentecost (1899), Life of Isabella Thoburn (1903), The Christian Conquest of India (1906), India and Southern Asia (1907), and God’s Heroes Our Examples (1914).
Thoburn retired in 1908 to Meadville. He died on November 28, 1922, aged 86.