Monday, April 4, 2011

"Declaring the Southern Baptists (or at least the Revd R. Albert Mohler) off-side"

"The union of physical and spiritual praxis was possible for ancient Indians and remains a real goal for many contemporary yogis.  This sort of combination is affirmed by an old joke about a Jesuit priest who, when his bishop forbade priests to smoke while meditating, dutifully agreed but argued that surely there would be no objection if he occasionally meditated while he was smoking.  That one can, however, choose merely to smoke or merely to meditate is denied both by Christians of the Reverend R. Albert Mohler ilk and by Hindus of the Hindu American Foundation ilk, both of whom insist that yoga is only and always a religious system."

     Wendy Doniger, "Assume the position" (a largely enthusiastic review of Yoga body:  the origins of modern posture practice, by Mark Singleton, and a fine summary of the extremely complex history of "yoga"), Times literary supplement no. 5631 (March 4, 2011), 11 (10-11).

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