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From Yoga to KabbalahReligious Exoticism and the Logics of Bricolage$
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Véronique Altglas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199997626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199997626.001.0001

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Religious Exoticism, Belonging, and Identities: The Discomfort of Bricolage

Religious Exoticism, Belonging, and Identities: The Discomfort of Bricolage

(p.63) 2 Religious Exoticism, Belonging, and Identities: The Discomfort of Bricolage
From Yoga to Kabbalah

Véronique Altglas

Oxford University Press

The second chapter shows that individuals exploring yoga, meditation, or Kabbalah do not seek to become Hindu or Jewish. The confrontation with these religious traditions’ languages and liturgies generates feelings of discomfort and transgression. These deeply ambivalent attitudes, balanced between fascination and repulsion, partly explain why an overwhelming number of individuals adopt only a selection of doctrines and practices, remain superficially and temporarily involved, and may continue to explore other religious teachings and alternative therapies. The success of exotic religious resources is therefore both triggered and limited by their foreignness. The ambivalent nature of religious exoticism also demands a “domestication” of the appropriated religious resources so that they appear safe and familiar: students of yoga, meditation, or Kabbalah view these teachings as non-religious, universal forms of “spirituality,” that is to say, a pool of available resources they can freely tap into according to their personal expectations and needs.

Keywords:   ambivalent, exoticism, domestication, spirituality, familiar

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