[INDOLOGY] New Publication: The Assimilation of Yogic Religions Through Pop Culture

Paul Hackett ph2046 at columbia.edu
Sat Nov 11 15:10:21 UTC 2017

Dear colleagues, 

(Apologies for cross-posting.) I wanted to let you know about a recently-published collection of essays on yogic religions and pop culture that might be of interest to the members of this list.

The Assimilation of Yogic Religions Through Pop Culture. Edited by Paul G. Hackett; foreword by David Gordon White.  NY: Lexington Books (2017).

The book is available directly from the publisher with a special 30% discount off the list price using the special discount code ("LEX30AUTH18" -- please see the attached flyer).



The image of the meditating yogi has become a near-universal symbol for transcendent perfection used to market everything from perfume and jewelry to luxury resorts and sports cars, and popular culture has readily absorbed it along similar lines. Yet the religious traditions grounding such images are often readily abandoned or caricatured beyond recognition, or so it would seem. The essays contained in The Assimilation of Yogic Religions through Pop Culture explore the references to yogis and their native cultures of India, Tibet, and China as they are found in the stories of many famous icons of popular culture, from Batman, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange to Star Trek, Doctor Who, Twin Peaks, and others. In doing so, the authors challenge the reader to look deeper into the seemingly superficial appropriation of the image of the yogi and Asian religious themes found in all manner of comic books, novels, television, movies, and theater and to carefully examine how they are being represented and what exactly is being said.


David Gordon White

Editor's Preface
Paul G. Hackett

Part I: Theatre and Film
Ken Derry

1. The Yogi, the Prince, and the Courtesan: Izéÿl in Europe and America
Samuel Thévoz

2. Supermen, Mystical Women, and Oriental Others: Dynamics of Race and Gender in Pop Cultural Yogis and the Universal Superhuman
Anya P. Foxen

3. From the Razor's Edge to the Scalpel's Blade: Larry Darrell, Doctor Strange, and the Trope of the Rehabilitated Western Man as Yogi
Paul G. Hackett

Part II: Television and Serials
Jane Naomi Iwamura and Paul G. Hackett

4. “I’ll See You Again in Twenty-Five Years:” Tibetan Buddhism in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and American Pop Culture in the 90s
Adam C. Krug

5. The Future is Not What it Used To Be: Religion, Yogic Power, and Tibet in Star Trek and Doctor Who
Paul G. Hackett

6. The Blank Scriptures of the Xiyou ji: Interpretive Flexibility and Religious Stability in Post-1949 Adaptations of The Journey to the West
Nathan Faries and Yuanfei Wang

Part III: Comic Books and Graphic Novels
A. David Lewis

7. The Spiritual Superhero: A Historical Overview of Tantra in Comics
Albion M. Butters

8. The Implied Spider-Man: Transcreating Religious Imagery and Meaning in Spider-Man: India
Rex Barnes

9. The Dark Knight of the Soul: Death as Initiatory Ordeal in Grant Morrison’s Batman R.I.P.
Joel Bordeaux

Paul G. Hackett


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