PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA
November 21-24, 2015

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Yoga in Theory and Practice Group

Statement of Purpose: 

This Group seeks to elucidate the religious and sectarian representations of yoga in South Asian history and the profoundly fascinating contemporary yoga culture that has emerged in the past century. Among other topics that are addressed in our Group is the emergence of modern yoga out of the encounter between Indian and European cultures in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In connection with this, it examines the relative pervasiveness of spiritual and religious ideologies in manifest or latent forms within the contemporary yoga scene, and the overarching sociological relevance of yoga within global culture. We also examine changing paradigms with respect to the nature and function of yoga in the larger South Asian religious context. Our goal is to provide a venue in which the body of scholars working in this area can collectively evaluate this extremely timely material. We actively pursue scholars from Europe, Asia, and other areas that have worked at length on these issues, so as to bring an important international component to the Group.

Call for Papers: 

This Group seeks individual paper, papers session, or roundtable proposals on the topic of Yoga in theory and practice from a variety of perspectives, including sociology, anthropology, history of religions, philosophy and theology, and cultural studies. We prefer complete session submissions rather than individual paper proposals whenever possible. You are encouraged to contact the co-chairs for more information about the suggested topics and to suggest other possible topics.

Suggested topics include:

Comparing the moral dimensions of yoga and other meditation or body practices (for a possible co-sponsored session with the Comparative Religious Ethics Group)

Yoga and neuroscience (for a possible co-sponsored session with the Contemplative Studies Group)

The intersections of yoga’s theological and ethical traditions (both contemporary and historical) with those of continental philosophy (for a possible co-sponsored session with the Theology and Continental Philosophy Group)

Teaching yoga in the academy

Digital yoga and other yoga sites outside the ashram

Andrea R. Jain's Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee