Virtual Orientalism: Asian Religions and American Popular Culture by Jane IwamuraVirtual Orientalism: Asian Religions and American Popular Culture by Jane Iwamura

Virtual Orientalism: Asian Religions and American Popular Culture

byJane Iwamura

Paperback | January 17, 2011

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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.
Jane Iwamura is Assistant Professor at the School of Religion and Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.
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Title:Virtual Orientalism: Asian Religions and American Popular CultureFormat: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