Jean-Antoine Dubois  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Abbe J.A. Dubois or Jean-Antoine Dubois (January 1765 – 17 February 1848) was a French Catholic missionary in India, and member of the 'Missions Etrangères de Paris'.he was called Dodda Swami by the local people. In his work Hindu manners , customs and traditions he presented Indian cultures, traditions, thoughts and varnasrama system in his work. After some years he returned to France, and authored the book Hindu manners, customs and ceremonies, a valuable work of Indology. He is remembered locally for having adopted the way of life, clothing, food (vegetarianism) and language typical of a Hindu monk or renunciate, and to have thereby earned the trust and respect of the local people. However, he failed in his mission of converting Indians to Christianity, and often expressed the opinion, in writing and in conversation, that the project of bringing the Indians to Christ is doomed to failure.


  • Description of the Character, Manners and Customs of the People of India, and of their Institutions, religious and civil. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1816. Derived, as Sylvie Murr shows, from G.-L. Cœurdoux's original manuscript, Mœurs et coutumes des Indiens, now lost. See De Smet, Review of the two volumes of Murr, Indian Theological Studies 27 (1990) 371-373.
  • Letters on the state of Christianity in India, in Which The Conversion On The Hindoos Is Considered As Impracticable. To which is added a vindication of the Hindus, male and female, in answer to a severe attack made upon both by the Reverend ****. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1823. Reprinted by Asian Educational Services [?].
  • Hough, James. A Reply to the Letters of the Abbé Dubois on the State of Christianity in India. London: L.B. Seeley & Son, 1824.
  • Townley, H. An Answer to the Abbé Dubois in which the various wrong principles, misrepresentations and contradictions, contained in his work, entitled "Letters on the State of Christianity in India" are pointed out; and the Evangelization of India is, both on sound principle and on solid fact, demonstrated to be practicable. London, 1824.
  • [Refutation of the letters of Abbe Dubois]. The Friend of India (Calcutta) (1825).
  • Mœurs, institutions, et cérémonies des peuples de l'Inde. Enlarged edition of the 1816 work. Paris, 1825, 2 vols.
  • Exposé de quelques-uns des principaux articles de la théogonie des Brahmes. Paris, 1825.
  • [Reply to criticisms.] Bulletin des Sciences (May 1825).
  • Le Pantcha-tantra ou les cinq ruses, fables du Brahme Vichnou-Sarma. Paris, 1826.
  • The Exploits of the Guru Paramarta.
  • [Reply to criticisms.] Asiatic Journal vol. 1 (1841).
  • Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1899.
  • Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies: The Classic First-Hand Account of India in the Early Nineteenth Century. Ed. Henry K. Beauchamp. Courier Dover, 2002.


  • Mœurs et coutumes des Indiens (1777). Un inédit du Père G.-L. Cœurdoux, SJ, dans la version de N.-J. Desvaulx. Vol. 1. Éd. Sylvie Murr. Paris: École Française d'Extrême-Orient, 1987. Pp. 247.
  • L'Indologie du Père Cœurdoux. Vol. 2. Ed. Sylvie Murr. Paris: Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, 1987. Pp. 250.
  • De Smet, Richard. Review of Sylvie Murr, Vol. 1: Mœurs et coutumes des Indiens (1777): Un inédit du Père G.-L. Cœurdoux, S.J. dans la version de N.-J. Desvaulx. Vol. II: L’Indologie du Père Cœurdoux (Paris: École Française d’Extrême-Orient, 1987). Indian Theological Studies 27 (1990) 371-373.

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