Published On: Wed, Apr 24th, 2013

Hare Krishna in the Modern World

April 23, 2013 (VNN) a book by Graham Dwyer & Richard J. Cole

hk_in_the_modern_world_1To most people, the words “Hare Krishna” conjure images of robed monks with shaven heads singing and dancing, or selling copies of the Bhagavad Gita in the streets. These were indeed iconic of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) in its early years. Over the nearly half-century of its existence, however, the organization has changed considerably in an effort to overcome the loss of its founder, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and to remain relevant as the world around it has changed.
In this volume, nine scholars, all of whom have had many years of first-hand experience with ISKCON, discuss its situation today, evaluating its successes and failures in adapting to new social and demographic circumstances while struggling to remain true to Prabhupada’s original intentions, and offering insights into new directions that it may take in the future.
Hare Krishna in the Modern World is a deeply reflective, caring, and updated probing into various aspects of the history and development of the worldwide Movement. Its scholarly authors seek to examine personal-experiential, socio-cultural, and philosophical-theological themes for purposes of addressing the challenges of the Movement’s future growth. The editors of this volume are to be commended, for they tackled the difficult and delicate task of bringing together effective discussions that are both sensitive and critical, empathic and sympathetic, mindful of the past and forward looking, embracing strengths and urging correction or change, with the intent to nourish a tradition originally from sacred India that has now laid permanent roots in the West. This book should be read by students and scholars of religion and, perhaps even more importantly, by any seasoned practitioner within ISKCON, and especially by its leaders, for the words herein provide a resource of exigent wisdom that is all too needed.” – Graham M. Schweig, Professor of Religion and Director of Asian Studies, Christopher Newport University in Virginia; author-translator ofBhagavad Gītā: The Beloved Lord’s Secret Love Song

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