Religious exoticism implies a deeply ambivalent relationship to otherness and to religion itself: traditional religious teachings are uprooted and fragmented in order to be appropriated as practical methods for personal growth. Western contemporary societies have seen the massive popularization of such exotic religious resources as yoga and meditation, Shamanism, Buddhism, Sufism, and Kabbalah. Veronique Altglas shows that these trends inform us about how religious resources are disseminated globally, as well as how the self is constructed in society. She uses two case studies: the Hindu-based movements in France and Britain that started in the 1970s, and the Kabbalah Centre in France, Britain, Brazil, and Israel. She draws upon major qualitative and cross-cultural empirical investigations to conceptualize religious exoticism and offer a nuanced and original understanding of its contemporary significance. From Yoga to Kabbalah broadens scholarly understanding of the globalization of religion, how religions are modified through cultural encounters, and of religious life in neoliberal societies.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 05 / 2014