The Art of Living Foundation
Spirituality and Wellbeing in the Global Context
The Hindu-derived meditation movement, The Art of Living (AOL), founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Bangalore, has grown into a global organization which claims presence in more than 150 countries. Stephen Jacobs presents the first comprehensive study of AOL as an important transnational movement and an alternative global spirituality. Exploring the nature and characteristics of spirituality in the contemporary global context, Jacobs considers whether alternative spiritualities are primarily concerned with individual wellbeing and can simply be regarded as another consumer product. The book concludes that involvement in movements such as AOL is not necessarily narcissistic but can foster a sense of community and inspire altruistic activity.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Chapter 1 Locating Art of Living; Chapter 2 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and a Brief History of Art of Living; Chapter 3 Beliefs and Practices; Chapter 4 On Whose Authority?; Chapter 5 A One World Family; Chapter 101 Conclusion;
Stephen Jacobs has a background in both Religious Studies and Media Studies. He is a senior lecturer in Media, Religion and Culture at the University of Wolverhampton. His main areas of interest are the interactions between religion and the media, and Hinduism in the contemporary context. His PhD thesis from the University of Wales Lampeter explored the impact of globalization on Hinduism. Recent publications include ’Virtually Sacred: The Performance of Asynchronous Cyber Rituals in Online Spaces’,The Journal of Computer Mediated Communication (2007); ’Communicating Hinduism in a Changing Media Context’, Religion Compass (2012); and a textbook, Hinduism Today (2010).
"This book is written in a very helpful way, and engages with contemporary academic discourses and theories, making it a useful book both for students and the academic community." -- Liselotte Frisk, Dalarna University