Since the 2000s, Chinese society has experienced a state codirected psychologization of everyday life. This is reflected in the popularity of the Body-Mind-Spirit (shen xin ling), a New Age self-cultivation milieu that emerged at the intersections of religiosity and secularity. This essay examines the process of “parallel glocalization,” in which Taiwanese and Hong Kongese intellectuals and spiritual seekers engaged in creative translations of western New Age concepts to introduce them to Chinese speakers. It follows the multiple trajectories through which New Age teachings were rebranded as shen xin ling and introduced in mainland China where they undergo further transformations—an important dimension of the “return” to Asia of many New Age concepts inspired by “eastern” philosophies and religions. These dynamics both facilitate China’s incorporation into the networks of globalizing spirituality and resonate with the processes of the Sinicization of religion used as a tool for control in today’s China.
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Research Article| May 01 2022
Navigating the Owl’s Gaze: The Chinese Body-Mind-Spirit Milieu and Circulations of New Age Teachings in the Sinosphere
Nova Religio (2022) 25 (4): 5–31.
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Anna Iskra; Navigating the Owl’s Gaze: The Chinese Body-Mind-Spirit Milieu and Circulations of New Age Teachings in the Sinosphere. Nova Religio 1 May 2022; 25 (4): 5–31. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nr.2022.25.4.5
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