"The Hare Krsna movement is historically very significant, for now for the first time since the days of the Roman Empire an Asian religion is being openly practiced by people of Western origin in the streets of Western cities."
The American Academy of Religion’s (AAR) Annual Meeting is the world’s largest gathering of religion scholars. This year’s convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on November 23-26th drew an estimated 12,000 scholars from all over the world. In the midst of studies of mysticism, ritual, philosophy, and liturgy, interest in Vaishnavism, or the devotional bhakti-yoga tradition, has increased significantly in recent years at the AAR.
“Exploring the Bhagavad gita: Philosophy, Structure and Meaning,” a book by ISKCON Academy of Arts and Sciences member Dr. Ithamar Theodor, has received its second prestigious award. Theodor’s unique contribution is his articulation of the Gita’s structure, thus highlighting the ancient wisdom text’s relevance in contemporary philosophy.
The ISKCON Studies Institute will hold its next conference at Radhadesh (Belgium) from May 22-24, 2015. This year’s conference theme is Devotional Ethics, Community, and Practice in Caitanya Vaisnavism. The ISKCON Studies Institute Conference 2015 features an outstanding array of academic scholars from around the world.
Professor Ravi M. Gupta (Radhika Ramana Das) is the newly appointed Charles Redd Chair of Religious Studies, and Director of the Religious Studies Program at Utah State University. It’s a prestigious position that brings to mind a gruff, silver-bearded elder. But Radhika Ramana flips that idea on its head. At a youthful 34, he’s got a beaming smile of pearly whites and a full head of black hair. He’s also disarmingly unpretentious despite his astonishing academic journey.
A short film about a recent conference at Harvard University, in which academic scholars appreciate ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada, while also encouraging devotees to self-reflect, brought an audience at the Mayapur festival to tears.
ISKCON Communications Director Anuttama Das attended the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) in Denver, Colorado from November 17thto 20th, as a representative of the Hare Krishna Movement. Representatives of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust also participated with a booth at the event, which promotes the study of religion from an academic perspective.