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Lucia: Reflections of Amma

Lucia, Amanda J.:
Reflections of Amma : Devotees in a Global Embrace / Amanda J. Lucia. - Berkeley ; Los Angeles ; London : University of California Press, 2014. - xv, 304 S. : Ill.
Hochschulschrift. Teilw. zugl.: Chicago, Univ., Diss., 2010
ISBN 978-052-028-113-4
US$ 70,00 / £ 48,95 (hardback)
ISBN 978-052-028-114-1 
US$ 29,95 / £ 19,95 (paperback)
DDC: 294.5092

Globally known as Amma, meaning "Mother," Mata Amritanandamayi has developed a massive transnational humanitarian organization based in hugs. She is familiar to millions as the “hugging saint,” a moniker that derives from her elaborate darshan programs wherein nearly every day ten thousand people are embraced by the guru one at a time, events that routinely last ten to twenty hours without any rest for her. Although she was born in 1953 as a low-caste girl in a South Indian fishing village, today millions revere her as guru and goddess, a living embodiment of the divine on earth.
   Reflections of Amma focuses on communities of Amma’s devotees in the United States, showing how they endeavor to mirror their guru’s behaviors and transform themselves to emulate the ethos of the movement. This study argues that “inheritors” and “adopters” of Hindu traditions differently interpret Hindu goddesses, Amma, and her relation to feminism and women’s empowerment because of their inherited religious, cultural, and political dispositions. In this insightful ethnographic analysis, Amanda J. Lucia discovers how the politics of American multiculturalism reifies these cultural differences in “de facto congregations,” despite the fact that Amma’s embrace attempts to erase communal boundaries in favor of global unity. [Verlagsinformation]

List of Illustrations. ix
Acknowledgments. xi
Note on Language. xv
Introduction: Situating Amma as Female Guru in the Context of North American Multiculturalism. 1
1. A Darshan Embrace: Experiencing Authenticity and Feeling Witnessed. 37
2. Devī Bhāva: Revelation and Performance of the Guru as Goddess. 76
3. The Avatar-Guru and Ordinary Women: the Boundaries of Mimetic Behavioral Models. 107
4. Culturally-Situated Testimonies: Differing Interpretations of the Role of the Goddess. 145
5. Congregational Dynamics: Growing Pains En Route from the Particular to the Universal. 182
Conclusion: Multiculturalism, Universalism, and Communal Identity: the Guru in the American Diaspora. 226
Appendix: Current Literature Engaging the Field of Contemporary Gurus. 241
Notes. 251
Works Cited. 279
Index. 295

AMANDA J. LUCIA is Assistant Professor of Religion at UC Riverside. Profile page. profile.

Quellen: University of California Press; WorldCat; Bookbutler; Library of Congress.
Bildquelle: University of California Press
Bibliographie: [1]