Buying Buddha, Selling Rumi: Orientalism and the Mystical Marketplace
Sophia Rose Arjana
From jewellery to meditation pillows to tourist retreats, religious traditions - especially those of the East - are being commodified as never before. Imitated and rebranded as 'New Age' or 'spiritual', they are marketed to secular Westerners as an answer to suffering in the modern world, the 'mystical' and 'exotic' East promising a path to enlightenment and inner peace. In Buying Buddha, Selling Rumi, Sophia Rose Arjana examines the appropriation and sale of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam in the West today, the role of mysticism and Orientalism in the religious marketplace, and how the commodification of religion impacts people's lives.
1. Histories of Religion and Mysticism
2. Cultural Colonialism, Muddled Orientalism, and the Mystic Poor
3. Mysticism, Incorporated
4. Hindu Hippies and Boulder Buddhists
6. Lost, Star Wars, and Mystical Hollywood