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    Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace (Hardback) By (author) Amanda J. Lucia

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    DescriptionGlobally known as Amma, meaning "Mother," Mata Amritanandamayi has developed a massive transnational humanitarian organization based in hugs. She is familiar to millions as the "hugging saint," a moniker that derives from her elaborate darshan programs wherein nearly every day ten thousand people are embraced by the guru one at a time, events that routinely last ten to twenty hours without any rest for her. Although she was born in 1953 as a low-caste girl in a South Indian fishing village, today millions revere her as guru and goddess, a living embodiment of the divine on earth. Reflections of Amma focuses on communities of Amma's devotees in the United States, showing how they endeavor to mirror their guru's behaviors and transform themselves to emulate the ethos of the movement. This study argues that "inheritors" and "adopters" of Hindu traditions differently interpret Hindu goddesses, Amma, and her relation to feminism and women's empowerment because of their inherited religious, cultural, and political dispositions. In this insightful ethnographic analysis, Amanda J. Lucia discovers how the politics of American multiculturalism reifies these cultural differences in "de facto congregations," despite the fact that Amma's embrace attempts to erase communal boundaries in favor of global unity.

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    Reflections of Amma
    Devotees in a Global Embrace
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Amanda J. Lucia
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 320
    Width: 157 mm
    Height: 231 mm
    Thickness: 18 mm
    Weight: 567 g
    ISBN 13: 9780520281134
    ISBN 10: 0520281136

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: REL
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T6.6
    B&T General Subject: 690
    BIC subject category V2: HRAX, HRG
    Ingram Subject Code: RS
    Libri: I-RS
    BISAC V2.8: REL072000
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15470
    Ingram Theme: RELI/HINDU
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: REL032000
    DC22: 294.5092
    LC subject heading: , , ,
    BISAC region code:
    LC subject heading:
    DC23: 294.5092
    LC subject heading: , ,
    Ingram Theme: ASPT/RELGAS
    Thema V1.0: QRAX, QRD
    LC classification: BL1278.1592.A67 L83 2014
    LC subject heading:
    Edition statement
    New ed.
    Illustrations note
    12 black & white photographs
    University of California Press
    Imprint name
    University of California Press
    Publication date
    14 March 2014
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Amanda J. Lucia is Assistant Professor of Religion at UC Riverside.
    Flap copy
    "Lucia's substantial field work covers both institutional and personal aspects of groups of Ammachi devotees. This novel analysis is an important contribution towards understanding the contemporary phenomenon of transnational gurus in the US."--Karen Pechilis, Distinguished Humanities Professor at Drew University and author most recently of "Interpreting Devotion: The Poetry and Legacy of a Female Bhakti Saint of India "
    Table of contents
    List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Note on Language INTRODUCTION Situating Amma as Female Guru in the Context of American Multiculturalism ONE A Darshan Embrace: Experiencing Authenticity and Feeling Recognition TWO Devi Bhava: Revelation and Performance of the Guru as Goddess THREE The Avatar-Guru and Ordinary Women: the Boundaries of Mimetic Behavioral Models FOUR Culturally-Situated Testimonies: Differing Interpretations of the Role of the Goddess FIVE Congregational Dynamics: Growing Pains En Route from the Particular to the Universal CONCLUSION Multiculturalism, Universalism, and Communal Identity: the Guru in the American Diaspora APPENDIX I: Current Literature Engaging the Field of Contemporary Gurus NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX