The Hare Krishna Movement is popularly associated with groups of chanting, saffron-robed followers, whose colourful appearance on the streets of western cities became increasingly commonplace after the Movement's emergence in 1965. But there is much more to the Krishna phenomenon than simply its bands of singing and dancing adherents. This groundbreaking book focuses for the first time on what is currently taking place inside the Hare Krishna Movement, and examines the changes and developments that have shaped it over the past forty years. The essays offer an unparalleled overview of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and explore a wide range of topical issues and themes. These include: the politics and history of the Movement; membership patterns; recruitment strategies; pedagogical and social factors; the importance of dreams and ritual; and ISKCON's articulation of traditional theology in the context of the Movement's evolution.
The result is a book that will be essential reading for scholars and students of religion in the modern world, and which explains in full how this fascinating Hindu devotional tradition continues to flourish in the land of its origin - India - as well as in the West.
Graham Dwyer is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Winchester University, and is the author of The Divine and the Demonic: Supernatural Affliction and its Treatment in North India (2003). Richard J Cole is a Hare Krishna monk and the Secretary of ISKCON UK's Communications Department at Bhaktivedanta Manor.