Karen O'Brien-Kop

Jun 16, 2022

Rethinking 'Classical Yoga' and Buddhism

Meditation, Metaphors and Materiality

Bloomsbury Publishing 2021

Rethinking 'Classical Yoga' and Buddhism (Bloomsbury, 2021) revisits the early systemic formation of meditation practices called 'yoga' in South Asia by employing metaphor theory. Karen O'Brien-Kop also develops an alternative way of analysing the reception history of yoga that aims to decentre the Eurocentric and imperialist enterprises of the nineteenth-century to reframe the cultural period of the 1st – 5th centuries CE using categorical markers from South Asian intellectual history. Buddhist traditions were just as concerned as Hindu traditions with meditative disciplines of yoga. This analysis demystifies early yoga-meditation as a timeless 'classical' practice and locates it in a specific material context of agrarian and urban economies.

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