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AoL East and West

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The goal of this monograph is to provide an overview of the Art of Living Foundation (AoL), a large global movement currently established in over 150 countries that has, as yet, attracted very little scholarly attention. AoL originated as a splinter group from Transcendental Meditation (TM) that has already eclipsed TM in terms of numbers of practitioners. The organization spreads its founder’s message of a ‘violence-free, stress-free society’ through the mediums of meditation, yoga and breathing techniques, as well as numerous initiatives in education, development and peace work. Next to some of the Japanese New Religious Movements, Art of Living is probably the largest New Religion in the world – depending, of course, on where one draws the line between the groups identified as NRMs and groups that are not. Over the course of this book the authors will examine AoL through a variety of different interpretive frameworks. The larger analysis, however, will discuss the movement in terms of the contrast between the ways in which the organization presents itself in different countries – in India, its nation of birth, in Norway, Denmark and Lithuania, where AoL has adapted itself to the alternative spiritual culture found in Scandinavian (and other Western) and post-communist societies. This movement – especially Art of Living‟s founder/leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – is well-known as a consequence of regular mass media coverage, but has been little-studied in terms of social scientific and religious studies modes of analysis. This monograph thus fills a recognizable gap in the literature on Indian new religions, and at the same time will complement other books in this general field of study.

Published: Jul 23, 2018


Section Chapter Authors
1
NRMs; Guru Movements; New Age Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis
2
History Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis
3
Transcendental Meditation and the Art of Living Foundation Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis
4
Role of the Guru Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis
5
Practices Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis
6
Globalization/Glocalization Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis
7
Indigenization Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis
8
Who Joins? Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis
9
Science Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis
10
The Body Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis
11
The Future Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Milda Ališauskienė, James R. Lewis