November 19, 2013

UCF Philosophy Professor Ann Gleig teamed up with Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Millsaps College Lola Williamson while writing Homegrown Gurus: From Hinduism in America to American Hinduism. The book was recently published by SUNY Press.

Today, a new stage in the development of Hinduism in America is taking shape. After a century of experimentation during which Americans welcomed Indian gurus who adjusted their teachings to accommodate the New World context, “American Hinduism” can now rightly be called its own tradition rather than an imported religion. Accordingly, this spiritual path is now headed by leaders born in North America. Homegrown Gurus explores a this phenomenon in essays about these figures and their networks. A variety of teachers and movements are considered, including Ram Dass, Siddha Yoga, and Amrit Desai and Kripalu Yoga, among others. Two contradictory trends quickly become apparent: an increasing Westernization of Hindu practices and values alongside a renewed interest in traditional forms of Hinduism. These opposed sensibilities—innovation and preservation, radicalism and recovery—are characteristic of postmodernity and denote a new chapter in the American assimilation of Hinduism.

For more information about the book, please visit the Suny Press webpage.