But they were also essential for Müller's imperial comparative religion that mediated between "civilized" Great Britain and the "exotic" and "savage" peripheries of empire. While his edition of the Rig Veda and his expertise on the religious heritage of India were made possible by the financial support of the East India Company, Müller's imperial comparative religion rested on comparative observations that depended heavily on the British possession of South Africa. Although he observed that in the empire of religion there was "no lack of materials for the student of the Science of Religion" (Müller, 1873, p. 101), Müller knew that those raw materials had to be extracted from the colonies, transported to the metropolitan centers of theory production, and transformed into the manufactured goods of theory that could be used by an imperial comparative religion.


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