Archives for category: 2014

51VoQDZYgLL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Francis, Emmanuel and Schmid, Charlotte (eds.). The Archaeology of Bhakti. Vol 1. Mathurā and Maturai, Back and Forth. Vol. 2. Royal bhakti, local bhakti. Pondichéry: Institut Français De Pondichéry, 2014-2016 (366, 618 pages, ISBN: 978-2-85539-139-7, 978-2-85539-221-9)

Publisher description Vol.1 | Vol.2

“This volume – the outcome of a workshop-cum-conference that took place from 1st to 12th August 2011 in the Pondicherry Centre of the École française d’Extrême-Orient, – is an invitation to practise the “archaeology of Bhakti” with the help of both textual and non-textual sources.

Bhakti, broadly defined as an attitude, a strategy or a style of devotion—one that may be intellectual, emotional or rooted in acts of worship—towards God or the Divine, manifests itself through the personal voices of devotees as well as through the collective effort that constitutes the building of a temple. The ‘archaeology of Bhakti’ aims at correlating different realms of representation, such as texts and images, in order to illuminate the elusive, pan-Indian phenomenon of Bhakti. The focus is on sources, agencies and layers. Read the rest of this entry »

9780199368136Versluis, Arthur. American Gurus: From American Transcendentalism to New Age Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. (297 p. ISBN 978-0-19-936813-6)

Publisher description | Toc | Book preview

“By the early twenty-first century, a phenomenon that once was inconceivable had become nearly commonplace in American society: the public spiritual teacher who neither belongs to, nor is authorized by a major religious tradition. From the Oprah Winfrey-endorsed Eckhart Tolle to figures like Gangaji and Adhyashanti, there are now countless spiritual teachers who claim and teach variants of instant or immediate enlightenment. Read the rest of this entry »

9780199931002Mercadante, Linda: Belief without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious. Oxford University Press, 2014. (352 p. ISBN 978-0-19-993100-2)

Publisher description | Toc | Book preview

“The last twenty years have seen a dramatic increase in ‘nones’: people who do not claim any religious affiliation. These ‘nones’ now outnumber even the largest Protestant denominations in America. They are not to be confused with secularists, however, for many of them identify themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’ (SBNR). The response to this dramatic change in American religion has been amazingly mixed. While social scientists have been busy counting and categorizing them, the public has swung between derision and adulation. Some complain ‘nones’ are simply shallow dilettantes, narcissistically concerned with their own inner world. Others hail them as spiritual giants, and ground-breaking pioneers. Rarely, however, have these ‘nones’ been asked to explain their own views, beliefs, and experiences. In Belief without Borders, theologian and one-time SBNR Linda Mercadante finally gives these individuals a chance to speak for themselves.

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