Hugh Urban, “Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement” (U. Cal Press, 2016)
Many contemporary spiritual movements are characterized by denial of material pleasures, subjugation of the self, and focus on transcendence. A spiritual program that cultivates embodied satisfaction is often seen as inauthentic and fraudulent. These public understandings of new religious movements… Read More
Michael J. Altman, “Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Scholars regularly assert that at Chicago’s World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 Swami Vivekananda initiated Hinduism in America. Many histories of Hinduism in America reproduce this type of synthesizing narrative. But how was Hinduism defined by Vivekananda and how was… Read More
William Elison, et.al. “Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation” (Harvard UP, 2016)
Amar Akbar Anthony is a film like no other. When you see it you cannot forget it. Filled with music, comedy, drama, and love it captures audiences in multiple ways. But what can we learn from a deeper look at… Read More
Rupa Viswanath, “The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India” (Columbia UP, 2014)
The so called “Pariah Problem” emerged in public consciousness in the 1890s in India as state officials, missionaries and “upper”caste landlords, among others, struggled to understood the situation of Dalits (those subordinated populations once called untouchables). In The Pariah Problem: Read More
Roman Sieler, “Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India” (Oxford UP, 2015)
Roman Sieler’s

 Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India (Oxford University Press, 2015) is a fine-grained ethnographic study of varmakkalai–the art of vital spots, a South Indian practice that encompasses both martial and medical… Read More
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