Brahma Kumaris: purity and the globalization of faith

Tamasin Ramsay, Wendy Ann Smith, Lenore Hilda Manderson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This chapter examines the globalized new religious movement, the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (Brahma Kumaris or BKs), established in northwest India in the 1930s. Today, despite its footing in a Hindu cultural and geographical base, the BK has a global presence with 8,500 centres countries across all continents. Part of the success of its expansion lies in the flexibility of the organisation, especially in recent decades, to accommodate different patterns of residence, work and family, and desires for relevance, such that the BK has increasingly moved from monasticism to outreach. Even so, we argue that its ability to attract members from vastly different cultures and life experiences has been facilitated by the central doctrine of purity, and the associated practices of meditation and divine experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFlows of Faith: Religious Reach and Community in Asia and the Pacific
EditorsLenore Manderson, Wendy Smith, Matt Tomlinson
Place of PublicationHeidelberg, Germany
PublisherSpringer
Pages51 - 70
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9789400729315
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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