Suzanne Newcombe deposited Yoga in Transformation Historical and Contemporary Perspectives in the group Religious Studies on Humanities Commons 5 years, 5 months ago
The editors of the present volume convened an international conference on “Yoga in Transformation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on a Global Phenomenon” at the University of Vienna, which took place on 19–21 September 2013.2 For the sake of coherence and optimisation of synergies, its focus was on the exploration of the phenomenon of yoga from the point of view of South Asian studies, the study of religions, sociology, cultural studies, theology and history of religions. The investigation of yoga from the perspectives of psychology and medicine, interesting and relevant as they may be, thus remained outside the scope of the conference. The editors were fortunate to attract many of the key players in current yoga research of the
described types as well as acknowledged specialists in the afore-mentioned areas of yoga-related research to the conference, either as speakers or as participants in the panel discussions. The vast majority of them also kindly agreed to elaborate and expand their papers and turn them into chapters of a book on the conference topic. The present volume is the fruit of their combined labours. In line with the conference agenda, it explores yoga from a broad perspective, but definitely does not aspire to be encyclopedic. Thus, the volume examines different strands and specific issues of South Asian and Tibetan yoga in the premodern period as well as developments within its practices and theories. It also investigates forms of modern yoga in their complex historical contexts and addresses recent developments and the current transformation of transnational modern yoga. Moreover, it considers aspects of the encounter of the Islamic and Christian traditions with the theory and practice of yoga in the past and present. In general, in keeping with the current trend in yoga-related studies emphasis has been put on the practice of yoga and its immediate theoretical underpinnings.