Collection ASM0080 - Richard Forbes papers

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Richard Forbes papers


  • 1943-1979 (Creation)


4 Boxes

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Biographical history

Richard Huntington Forbes was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1941. He was educated at the Fenn School in Concord, Mass. (1951-55), the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H. (1955-58) and the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury, Mass. (1958-59). From 1959-1963, Mr. Forbes attended Brown University in Providence, R.I., where he received the A.B. degree, with concentrations in History and History of Art. From 1965-1968, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republique du Niger, West Africa, and in Washington and Africa as a Peace Corps Fellow from 1968-1969. Following extensive travel in the United States, Mr. Forbes received an appointment as a research fellow with the Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation in New York, and in 1971 he became a member of the Vedic Society of America. In 1975, Mr. Forbes received the Degree of Master of Arts in African Studies from Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont, and in 1984 he received the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Miami in the field of Inter-American Studies. Dr. Forbes' long-term research interest is "Vedic Universalism In a Multi-Cultural Universe: Towards a Vedic World System."

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The Richard Forbes Papers contains research documents for Richard Forbes's 1984 University of Miami dissertation titled Arya Samaj in Trinidad: An Historical Study of Hindu Organizational Process in Acculturative Conditions. The description of the dissertation is as follows: "Arya Samaj is a democratic Hindu reform movement founded in 1875. Though reflecting Western and Christian methods, it aims to revive ancient Vedic ideals. Brought to Trinidad after 1910 by Indian Missionaries, the Samaj spearheaded a Hindu renaissance and socio-religious reforms while also provoking an orthodox counter-reformation in the 1930s. While retarding assimilation of Hindus into the dominant Trinidad culture, the Samaj promoted inter-communal dialogue and was an effective and unified pressure group. Yet, despite emphasis on constitutional rule, the "Aryas" eventually suffered the same factionalism as other Hindus. Differential acculturation between competing groups within the movement was found to be the immediate source of conflict. Opposing factions differed significantly in their members' average educational level, exposure to Christianity, proximity to urban centers and acceptance of secular values."

Contained in the collection are a number of audio cassettes (and corresponding transcripts) of interviews with members of the Arya-Samaj, articles, typescripts, manuscripts, notebooks, reports, bibliographies, pamphlets, and photocopies.

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This collection is open for research.

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Richard Forbes Papers Finding Aid © 2009 University of Miami. All rights reserved. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

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  • English

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See also Richard Forbes's dissertation, the culmination of these research documents:

Forbes, Richard. Arya Samaj in Trinidad: An Historical Study of Hindu Organizational Process in Acculturative Conditions. Thesis (PH.D.) - University of Miami, 1984.

UM Archives Theses Off-Campus Thesis 1984 F694a

Information about related materials is available at

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