Animal Abuse in Modern Yoga Gastropolitics

Jonathan Dickstein Scholars have expressed that “‘abuse’ extends beyond individual yoga communities and is often performed through unacknowledged race, gender, and class privilege.” But what about unacknowledged species privilege?

The Labyrinth of Molestation and Denial

Chuck Rosenthal Because you don’t start having sex with someone at thirteen and just stop at nineteen.  You don’t just walk away.  You carry it inside and live with it, hide it, go back to it, ignore it, fail to ignore it; you live with shame; you try to normalize what happened.

Clericalism as a Cultural Pattern: Aiding and Abetting Abuse

Clericalism as a Cultural Pattern: Aiding and Abetting Abuse Michael Horan Clericalism, like racism or sexism, festers within cultures and inside individual imaginations. Clericalism is based on social location in the Catholic church’s cultural system for both worship and governance, a system developed a millennium ago. Theologian Paul Lakeland asserts that all isms at their root are moved by a belief in the lesser humanity of the oppressed group. You know when you are adversely affected by an ism, but you hardly notice it if the ism benefits you. Just as sexism or racism privileges men over women and whites […]

Manufacturing Consent: Creating Hierarchies in the Guru-Disciple Relationship

Manufacturing Consent: Creating Hierarchies in the Guru-Disciple Relationship Amanda Lucia Sexual abuse happens across the globe and in nearly every environment. Recognizing this, religion scholar Andrea Jain argues that focusing on a specific religious context can be distracting and detrimental to tackling what is a global and ubiquitous problem. She writes, “The appeal to the dangers of guru charisma and devotion as an explanation for sexual violence pulls our attention away from larger social structures and norms that cultivate a dominant global culture of sexual violence … and lends itself to an orientalist stereotype of South Asians, their religions, and […]

Introduction: Abuse in Yoga and Beyond: Cultural Logics and Pathways for the Future

Introduction: Abuse in Yoga and Beyond: Cultural Logics and Pathways for the Future Christopher Miller In recent years, abuse scandals have shaken the yoga world once again, overturning previously held conceptions of yoga gurus, their teachings, and the individuals and organizations that have enabled their abuse. Most importantly, these abuse scenarios – whether they have involved sexual assault, cruelty, financial exploitation, etc. – have left individuals and communities disoriented, deeply traumatized, and desperately searching for answers. As Sacred Matters editor Gary Laderman writes, “the sacred is not always what it seems, can be associated with just about anything, and remains […]