I’m creating this site for two main purposes:
Firstly, to provide a resource for former seekers, devotees or disciples who may want to explore secular, historical and critical perspectives after leaving a spiritual path, movement or guru – particularly of the yoga or neo-Hindu variety, but to some extent also other New Age, ‘Eastern’ or meditation paths. Basically I wish to provide the kind of resource I would have found helpful in my own recovery from being a dedicated practitioner and devotee – a resource that would combine personal reflections and socio-historical studies, among others.
Secondly, to develop my budding academic interest in critical religious studies, particularly the ideologies of charismatic transnational neo-Hindu/yoga movements, as well as the histories of Indian religious traditions more generally. My interests are multi-disciplinary – spanning historical, sociological, political and psychological studies.
The site is still largely unpopulated at this point, but I envisage gradually developing it in the coming months and years. See below for a chronological list of updates to the site.
– 5 March 2013: Add a section on Psychological and sociological studies of members and former members of charismatic groups and high-demand religious institutions.
– 12 August 2012: Add a review of a novel, Tan Twan Eng’s The Gift of Rain.
– 14 July 2012: Add a book review, Mark Singleton’s Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice – A Synopsis, Review and Personal Perspective.
– 30 January 2012: Add a film analysis, Enlighten Up! Another Yoga Sceptic’s Thoughts on the Film.
– 30 September 2011: Start a section with resources on Modern gurus, science and the secular.
– 23 July 2011: Add a section with suggested books and articles on Modern gurus and their movements.
– 11 July 2011: Start a section with suggested books and articles on Yoga, tantra, sāṅkhya and advaita traditions.
– 9 July 2011: Add section with suggested books and articles on Modern yoga studies.
– 3 July 2011: Update About me.
– 2 July 2011: Add the beginnings of a section on academic Mailing lists, including links to interesting threads on the history and interpretation of yoga.
– 24 June 2011: Add an article: A Transgender Reflection on Tai Chi, the Body and Enlightenment.
– 20 March 2011: Add a section on academic Journals.