Ralph H. Craig

Dec 29, 2023

Dancing in My Dreams

A Spiritual Biography of Tina Turner

William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company 2023

When Tina Turner reclaimed her throne as the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll in the 1980s, she attributed her comeback to one thing: the wisdom and power she found in Buddhism. Her spiritual transformation is often overshadowed by the rags-to-riches arc of her life story. But in this groundbreaking biography, Ralph H. Craig III traces Tina's journey from the Black Baptist church to Buddhism and situates her at the vanguard of large-scale movements in religion and pop culture.

Paying special attention to the diverse metaphysical beliefs that shaped her spiritual life, Craig untangles Tina's Soka Gakkai Buddhist foundation; her incorporation of New Age ideas popularized in '60s counterculture; and her upbringing in a Black Baptist congregation, alongside the influences of her grandmothers' disciplinary and mystical sensibilities. Through critical engagement with Tina's personal life and public brand, Craig sheds light on how popular culture has been used as a vehicle for authentic religious teaching. Scholars and fans alike will find Dancing in My Dreams: A Spiritual Biography of Tina Turner (Eerdmans, 2023) as enlightening as the iconic singer herself.

Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com.

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Raj Balkaran

Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com.

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