Homegrown Gurus: From Hinduism in America to American Hinduism

Front Cover
Ann Gleig, Lola Williamson
SUNY Press, Oct 29, 2013 - Religion - 246 pages
Exploring homegrown movements and figures, proclaims “American Hinduism” as a distinct religious tradition.

Today, a new stage in the development of Hinduism in America is taking shape. After a century of experimentation during which Americans welcomed Indian gurus who adjusted their teachings to accommodate the New World context, “American Hinduism” can now rightly be called its own tradition rather than an imported religion. Accordingly, this spiritual path is now headed by leaders born in North America. Homegrown Gurus explores this phenomenon in essays about these figures and their networks. A variety of teachers and movements are considered, including Ram Dass, Siddha Yoga, and Amrit Desai and Kripalu Yoga, among others. Two contradictory trends quickly become apparent: an increasing Westernization of Hindu practices and values alongside a renewed interest in traditional forms of Hinduism. These opposed sensibilities—innovation and preservation, radicalism and recovery—are characteristic of postmodernity and denote a new chapter in the American assimilation of Hinduism.

Ann Gleig is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Central Florida. Lola Williamson is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Millsaps College and the author of Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion.
 

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Contents

From Wave to Soil
1
The Vicissitudes of Devotion and Ferocity of Grace
15
Building Tantric Infrastructure in America Rudis Western Kashmir Shaivism
41
Amrit Desai and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
63
Swamis Scholars and Gurus Siddha Yogas American Legacy
87
A Life in Progress The Biographies of Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
115
Guru Authority Religious Innovation and the Decline of New Vrindaban
141
NeoAdvaita in America Three Representative Teachers
163
From Being to Becoming Transcending to Transforming Andrew Cohen and the Evolution of Enlightenment
189
On Reason Religion and the Real
215
Contributors
225
Index
229
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About the author (2013)

Ann Gleig is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Central Florida. Lola Williamson is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Millsaps College and the author of Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion.

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