By Lola Williamson
Yoga, karma, meditation, guru—these phrases, as soon as imprecise, are actually part of the yank lexicon. Combining Hinduism with Western strategies and values, a brand new hybrid type of faith has constructed within the usa over the last century. In Transcendent in America, Lola Williamson lines the heritage of assorted Hindu-inspired hobbies in the United States, and argues that jointly they represent a discrete classification of non secular perform, a special and identifiable type of new religion.
Williamson presents an outline of the emergence of those events via reading exchanges among Indian Hindus and American intellectuals comparable to Thomas Jefferson and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and illuminates how Protestant traditions of internal event prepared the ground for Hindu-style pursuits’ popularity within the West.
Williamson makes a speciality of 3 movements—Self-Realization Fellowship, Transcendental Meditation, and Siddha Yoga—as consultant of the bigger of phenomenon of Hindu-inspired meditation hobbies. She presents a window into the ideals and practices of fans of those pursuits through delivering concrete examples from their phrases and studies that make clear their international view, way of life, and courting with their authorities. Drawing on scholarly study, various interviews, and many years of private event with Hindu-style practices, Williamson makes a resounding case that Hindu-inspired meditation events are certain from either immigrant Hinduism and other kinds of Asian-influenced or “New Age” groups.
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