Jeff Wilson’s (PhD ’07) Mindful America Out with OUP

Jeff Wilson’s (PhD ’07) Mindful America Out with OUP
 

MindfulAmericaDr. Jeff Wilson, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and East Asian Studies at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo, has just published his third book Mindful America: The Mutual Influence of Meditation and American Culture through Oxford University Press.

From the OUP website: “Thirty years ago, ‘mindfulness’ was a Buddhist principle mostly obscure to the west. Today, it is a popular cure-all for Americans’ daily problems. A massive and lucrative industry promotes mindfulness in every aspect of life, however mundane or unlikely: Americans of various faiths (or none at all) practice mindful eating, mindful sex, mindful parenting, mindfulness in the office, mindful sports, mindfulness-based stress relief and addiction recovery, and hire mindful divorce lawyers. Mindfulness is touted by members of Congress, CEOs, and Silicon Valley tech gurus, and is even being taught in public schools, hospitals, and the military.

Focusing on such processes as the marketing, medicalization, and professionalization of meditation, Jeff Wilson reveals how Buddhism shed its countercultural image and was assimilated into mainstream American culture. The rise of mindfulness in America, Wilson argues, is a perfect example of how Buddhism enters new cultures and is domesticated: in each case, the new cultures take from Buddhism what they believe will relieve their specific distresses and concerns, and in the process create new forms of Buddhism adapted to their needs. Wilson also tackles the economics of the mindfulness movement, examining commercial programs, therapeutic services, and products such as books, films, CDs, and even smartphone applications.

Mindful America is the first in-depth study of this phenomenon–invaluable for understanding how mindfulness came to be applied to such a vast array of non-religious concerns and how it can be reconciled with traditional Buddhism in America.”

You can find out more about Wilson’s research by checking out this recent guest blog for CNN or listening to this Interfaith Voice interview.

Congratulations Jeff!

Posted in Alumni News on September 18, 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

UNC Alumni Curate Religious Images on Facebook

UNC Alumni Curate Religious Images on Facebook
 

BasketballRosaryRabia Gregory and Shanny Luft, two graduates of the doctoral program in Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, have launched a Facebook venture together. Iconofiles curates religious visual and material culture from history and pop culture – from sacred to profane, and back again. The site provides a wealth of images for both research and teaching. For example, the basketball rosary to the left is just one of many Catholic sports rosaries available online. Is a football rosary the perfect accessory for any given Sunday this fall?

Posted in Alumni News on June 28, 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

Keep Us Updated!

Keep Us Updated!
 

We love to hear from our alum. Let us know about your recent adventures and tell us how you’ve put your Religious Studies degree to use.

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Posted in Alumni News on December 13, 2013. Bookmark the permalink.