There is nothing like a 01:30 finish to get that paper submitted to the publisher before the deadline. There was an email that went missing and I never got the response from the editor, until quite late, and to get the paper into this edition meant I've done some serious burning of a few different oils to get it sent off on time - I'm looking forward to seeing this article published soon in the next BULLETIN of the Nanzan Institute for Religion & Culture. Here is the last volume published - like the last edition, the upcoming one will also be free via open access.
If you are curious, the title of the paper is:
Śāntamūrti: The Legitimate Disposition(s) of the ‘Temple of Peace’ Social Network
Here is an overview of the paper:
This paper provides a typology of the various groups identified within the social network of the Shanti Mandir, ‘Temple of Peace’ organisation. This new religious movement was founded in 1987 by the current spiritual head, Swami Nityananda Saraswati. The social network consists of thousands of people spread throughout a global network of devotees. I first met Nityananda in 1998, when he visited Australia. Since that time, I have been a casual interloper and visitor to his ashram. During multiple visits, between 2006 and 2013, I conducted more than 12-months of ethnographic fieldwork in the organisation’s main ashram, which is located on the west coast of India, near the city of Valsad, Gujarat. I met many people from all across the globe, who came to explore and consume a particular neo-Hindu spirituality and establish an internal definition of self, which is based on the ‘authentic’ and ‘legitimate’ yogic identity promoted by Shanti Mandir (See JENKINS 2008:12).
In this paper, I begin by asking the following question: What makes the groups different? I answer this question through employing Legitimation Code Theory’s first analytical dimension, namely, Specialisation. This is done to identify the various ways in which the symbolic exchanges of capital between the groups occur, how the internal nature of the competition for status and recognition determines legitimate participation, and how the distinct hierarchies operate based on observations of the spatial and gendered relations between the groups. This research demonstrates that the hierarchic structure of the network is not linear, but, instead can be seen more like a three-sided pyramid, with each group working interdependently to support the guru’s mission, yet engaging in intra-group competitions for status and symbolic resources.