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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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Universalizing and De-contextualizing Exotic Religious Resources

Universalizing and De-contextualizing Exotic Religious Resources

Chapter:
(p.119) 3 Universalizing and De-contextualizing Exotic Religious Resources
Source:
From Yoga to Kabbalah
Author(s):

Véronique Altglas

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199997626.003.0004

Chapter 3 investigates the doctrines and discourses of the studied movements and also confirms that the popularization of exotic religious resources entails a partial detachment from their specific cultural and religious roots. This detachment takes the shape of a universalistic rhetoric: in order to reassure their audience, modern gurus and leaders of the Kabbalah Centre present Vedanta and Kabbalah, respectively, as universal wisdoms that transcend religious, cultural, and national differences. Accordingly, these religious figures had to reinterpret the core tenets that bind religion with a territory and a people and make traditional Hinduism and Judaism ethnic religions. They also downplayed or modified the significance of liturgy and emphasized and introduced new practices. These changes regarding collective identity, doctrines, and practices are not without challenges, as shown by the recent evolution of the Kabbalah Centre.

Keywords:   universalistic, rhetoric, ethnic, popularization, reinterpret, territory

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