The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

The early spread of Vedanta societies: an example of 'imported localism'

Beckerlegge, Gwilym (2004). The early spread of Vedanta societies: an example of 'imported localism'. Numen: International Review for the History of Religions, 51(3) pp. 296–320.

URL: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true...
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1568527041945526
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Sri Ramakrishna, in whose name the Ramakrishna Math and Mission were created, and Swami Vivekananda, the disciple largely responsible for their organization, have been recognized as early examples of the ‘global gurus’ who, over the last hundred years or so, have attracted both Hindus and those not born into Hinduism. This article will examine the establishment of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in the United States and London. As a consequence of its attachment to the ideal of an emergent universal religion, but one linked to the claim that Hinduism is the ‘mother of religions’, the movement has looked to the Hindu tradition for authoritative paradigms. This tendency has been matched by an expectation on the part of followers not born into Hinduism that the movement’s belief and ritual activity should reflect practice in India. It will be argued that this pattern cannot be explained adequately in terms of existing theoretical understandings of the interaction between globalization and localization. Instead, it will be argued that Vivekananda’s teaching led to the emergence of the related yet distinct phenomenon of ‘imported localism’, which has been at odds with the ideal of a universal religion.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2004 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden
ISSN: 1568-5276
Keywords: Vedanta; globalisation; imported localism; Vivekananda; universal religion
Academic Unit/Department: Arts > Religious Studies
Item ID: 2882
Depositing User: Gwilym Beckerlegge
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2014 15:45
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/2882
Share this page:

Altmetrics

Scopus Citations

Actions (login may be required)

View Item
Report issue / request change

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340   general-enquiries@open.ac.uk