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Author Iwamura, Jane Naomi.

Title Virtual orientalism : Asian religions and American popular culture / Jane Naomi Iwamura
Published New York : Oxford University Press, 2011


Description 1 online resource (xi, 214 pages) : illustrations
Contents Introduction -- Zen's personality -- Hyperreal Samadhi -- The monk goes Hollywood
Summary Saffron-robed monks and long-haired gurus have become familiar characters on the American popular culture scene. This book examines the contemporary fascination with Eastern spirituality and provides a cultural history of the representation of Asian religions in American mass media. Initial engagements with Asian spiritual heritages were mediated by monks, gurus, bhikkhus, sages, sifus, healers, and masters from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and religious traditions. Virtual Orientalism shows the evolution of these interactions, from direct engagements with specific individuals, to mediated relations with a conventionalized icon. Visually and psychically compelling, the Oriental Monk becomes for Americans a "figure of translation"--A convenient symbol for alternative spiritualities and modes of being. Through the figure of the solitary Monk, who generously and purposefully shares his wisdom with the West, Asian religiosity is made manageable -- psychologically, socially, and politically -- for popular culture consumption. On an historical level, the books argues that American mass awareness of Asian religions coincides with the advent of visually-oriented media (magazines, television, and film) and examines how technological transformations ushered in a new form of Orientalism -- virtual Orientalism -- prevalent since the late 1950s. Although popular engagement with Asian religions in the U.S. has increased, the fact that much of this has taken virtual form makes stereotypical constructions of "the spiritual East" obdurate and especially difficult to challenge. Representational moments in Virtual Orientalism's development that are examined include: D.T. Suzuki and the 1950s Zen Boom; the Maharishi Mahesh and his celebrity followers in the 1960s and; Kwai Chang Caine in the popular 1970 television series, Kung Fu Publisher description
Jane Iwamura examines contemporary fascination with Eastern spirituality and provides a cultural history of the representation of Asian religions in American mass media. At the heart of her study is the Oriental Monk, a non-sexual, solitary, conventionalized icon who generously and purposefully shares his wisdom with the West
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes English
Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
Print version record
digitized 2011 HathiTrust Digital Library committed to preserve pda MiAaHDL
SUBJECT Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro, 1870-1966 -- Influence
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi -- Influence
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. fast (OCoLC)fst00032056
Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro, 1870-1966. fast (OCoLC)fst00040273
Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro. idszbz
Maharischi Mahesch Jogi. idszbz
Kung fu (Television program : 1972-1975) -- Influence
Kung fu (Television program : 1972-1975) fast (OCoLC)fst01759666
Subject Monasticism and religious orders -- Asia -- Influence
Orientalism -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Popular culture -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Popular culture -- Religious aspects -- History -- 20th century
RELIGION -- History.
TRAVEL -- Special Interest -- Religious.
Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.)
Monasticism and religious orders -- Influence.
Popular culture.
Popular culture -- Religious aspects.
Indische godsdiensten.
Östliche Philosophie.
SUBJECT United States -- Religion -- 20th century
Subject Asia.
United States.
Verenigde Staten.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780199792313