Master of Arts (MA)
Geography and Anthropology
Spirituality has been a term that has always been associated with the East and more specifically with India. Spirituality has been revamped and repackaged in glossy packages by various spiritual groups and organizations in India. One among these organizations is the Art of Living, a non-governmental spiritual organization that has risen in popularity since 1996. This thesis concentrates on the Art of Living as an organization and of the dissemination of the new spirituality through this institution. This research study pertains to the identity of self and of the sense of nationhood through the discourse and the practice of certain activities and practices, both mental and physical. These activities are prescribed by spiritual leaders known as guru’s who have held sway over the masses, especially since the time of independence, when India was still a fledgling nation and a sense of identity was desperately needed to unify what were a diverse mass of people. This study then is the study of spirituality and how the notion spirituality is utilized to reflect a sense of self and nationhood.
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Shankar, Shirisha, "The art of living - the marketing of identity through nationality and spirituality" (2005). LSU Master's Theses. 471.