Virtual Orientalism: Asian Religions and American Popular Culture

Paperback | January 17, 2011

byJane Iwamura

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Saffron-robed monks and long-haired gurus have become familiar characters on the American pop culture scene. Jane Iwamura examines the contemporary fascination with Eastern spirituality and provides a cultural history of the representation of Asian religions in American mass media. Initialengagements with Asian spiritual heritages were mediated by monks, gurus, bhikkhus, sages, sifus, healers, and masters from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and religious traditions. Virtual Orientalism shows the evolution of these interactions, from direct engagements with specific individuals,to mediated relations with a conventionalized icon. Visually and psychically compelling, the Oriental Monk becomes for Americans a 'figure of translation' - a convenient symbol for alternative spiritualities and modes of being. Through the figure of the non-sexual, solitary Monk, who generouslyand purposefully shares his wisdom with the West, Asian religiosity is made manageable - psychologically, socially, and politically - for American popular culture.

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Saffron-robed monks and long-haired gurus have become familiar characters on the American pop culture scene. Jane Iwamura examines the contemporary fascination with Eastern spirituality and provides a cultural history of the representation of Asian religions in American mass media. Initialengagements with Asian spiritual heritages were...

Jane Iwamura is Assistant Professor at the School of Religion and Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

other books by Jane Iwamura

Virtual Orientalism: Asian Religions and American Popular Culture
Virtual Orientalism: Asian Religions and American Popul...

Kobo ebook|Jan 14 2011

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:January 17, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199738610

ISBN - 13:9780199738618

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroductionZen's Personality: D.T. SuzukiHyperreal Samadhi: Maharishi Mahesh YogiThe Monk Goes Hollywood: Kung FuConclusion: Spiritual Romance TodayBibliographyIndex