Bad Karma: Thinking Twice about the Social Consequences of Reincarnation Theory
Bad Karma: Thinking Twice About the Social Consequences of Reincarnation Theory is a cautionary study set in the context of the history of ideas. The thesis of the book is that rising popularity of reincarnation theory in American culture poses a significant danger- especially in light of the dramatic transitions brought about by the globalization of corporate values in the 21st century. America faces an immediate future in which displacement and social stratification will be a prominent feature of the social life. Viewed through the prism of reincarnation theory, desperate poverty may come to be seen not as an outrage to justice, but as an expression of justice- justice on a "deeper" level. Those born into wretched circumstances will be seen as having made choices as to their birth; brutal and deprived lives will be seen as people "working out their karma." The book opens with a philosophical analysis of the doctrines of both reincarnation and karma. The history of the doctrines in India will be reviewed, and various emergences of reincarnation doctrine in the West will be presented. Special attention brought to why none of these emergences took root in Western culture. Finally, the development of Buddhism in America is assessed, with special attention given to whether an American version of Buddhism necessarily entails a belief in reincarnation.
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The Drama of Reincarnation
The Dance of Consequence
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19th century 21st century American culture ancient animal aspect asserted assessment belief in reincarnation Blavatsky Blavatsky's body born Brahmin Buddha Buddhism called caste system Chandalas Chandogya Upanishad chapter Christian claim concern consequences Dalit Darwin's theories death doctrine of karma doctrine of reincarnation dynamics embrace emergence Empedocles evolution evolutionary theory fact globalization Greek groups h century Herrnstein Hindu Hinduism historian ideas identity important incarnations India individual Jews justice karma karma and reincarnation karmic Kaus Koot Hoomi law of karma Manthara master-idea McWorld mind natural selection past lives philosophical Plato popular predictable present primordial psyche psychological Pythagoras Radhakrishnan reality rebirth reincarnation doctrine reincarnation theory rejection religion religious rooted says Schopenhauer Schopenhauer's scientific sense Shudra Social Darwinism Social Darwinists society soul speaks spiritual story survival taken Theosophical Society Theosophists Theosophy things thought tion traditional understanding Upanishads Vivekananda Western wisdom York