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Call for Manuscripts: Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion, Volume 14 (Forthcoming 2023)

Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion, Volume 14 (Forthcoming 2023)

The Sociology of Yoga, Meditation, and Asian Asceticism

Edited by Lionel Obadia (University of Lyon 2) and Enzo Pace (University of Padova)

The irresistible yet unexpected diffusion at a global scale and appropriation of yoga, meditation and ascetic practices are undoubtedly key features of the changing landscape of religion at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. It comes under a variety of forms, from traditional and community-based ritualized practices to individualized and secularized techniques of well-being. These techniques have infused first alternative religiosities and finally mainstream religions, beyond all geographic, social and cultural boundaries, and affected them more or less deeply. The ascetic techniques definitely lie in the heart of the “spiritual revolution” described by Heelas and Woodhead in the mid-2000s, and the “spiritual turn” operating in religious studies in parallel.

For the moment, research devoted to yoga, meditation, and introspective bodily techniques have mainly been conducted in the domain of psychology and mind sciences, history and cultural areas. Sociological approaches remain scarce and disseminated. Yet, since Weber’s pioneering works, asceticism is far from being unknown in sociology. This special issue aims at mapping the empirical forms of yoga, meditation and introspective techniques expanding worldwide; exploring new conceptual and methodological discussions in sociology of religions; questioning the possibility to circumscribe a specific sub-field in the sociology of religions, devoted to modern Asian-inspired ascetic practices.

Topics might include, but are by no means limited to:  
– the role of new technologies in the diffusion and transformation of yoga and meditation
– the impacts of meditative and introspective techniques on representations and uses of the body in modernity
– the role of orientalism and eastern imagination in the transformation of religious practices, beliefs, and religious systems
– sociological variations among users (class, gender, regions, cultural backgrounds…)
– moral and symbolic economies of well-being and spirituality in relation to ascetic techniques
– impacts on the conception of religion, adherence, commitment and other dimensions of religious life
– transformations of broader sociological theories 

Please send proposals (400 words) and a brief bio to Lionel Obadia ( lionel.obadia@univ-lyon2.fr )

Deadline Submission of proposals: June 30, 2021

Deadline Notification of acceptance: September 30, 2021

Deadline completed manuscripts (7,000 words): April 30, 2022