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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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The Psychologization of Exotic Religious Resources

The Psychologization of Exotic Religious Resources

(p.201) 5 The Psychologization of Exotic Religious Resources
From Yoga to Kabbalah

Véronique Altglas

Oxford University Press

The dissemination of exotic religious resources is analyzed in the context of the “psychologization of social life,” which grants to selfhood and its transformation an unprecedented and tremendous importance. Members of neo-Hindu movements and the Kabbalah Centre appropriate Kabbalah and “Eastern spiritualities” as what they believe to be timeless and authentic sources of wisdom holding promises of personal growth and self-realization. This form of appropriation—exotic religious resources as a means of realizing the self—plays a central role in the domestication of exotic religious resources. It is encouraged, if not enabled, by the fact that teachers of Kabbalah, yoga, and meditation present an inner-worldly path of self-improvement; offer their teaching as a set of easy, take-homeable, and effective techniques of self-realization; and transmit these techniques in courses and workshops along the model of personal growth and group therapies.

Keywords:   exotic, psychologization of social life, self-realization, domestication, inner-worldly, techniques, therapies, courses

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