The Body

AoL East and West - A Study of the Art of Living Foundation - Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen

Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen [+-]
University of Tromsø.
Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen is currently a PhD candidate in Religious Studies at the University of Tromsø. Her research interests include new religious movements (especially Indian-oriented movements) and the New Age, religion and gender, and religion and nature. She has published a number of articles (including on Art of Living) and book reviews in international academic journals, and has several articles forthcoming. Additionally she is co-editor of the forthcoming Nordic New Religions (Brill),
Milda Alisauskiene [+-]
Vytautas Magnus University
Associate professor at Department of Sociology, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania Director of New Religions Research and Information Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
James R. Lewis [+-]
Wuhan University
James R. Lewis is Professor of Philosophy in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University. He is well-published in the field of new religious movements. His publications and edited volumes include The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, Controversial New Religions (with Jesper Petersen), Scientology, Children of Jesus and Mary (with Nicholas Levine), and, most recently, Violence and New Religious Movements.


Here the main focus is on examining the connection between body, health and self-development and AoL/SKY practice. Respondents’ answers have highlighted this connection, and we deem it an important focus point for the rationale of SKY practice. Further, as the practitioners in AoL (especially in Norway) seem to be overwhelmingly female, we will focus on various perspectives on gender in NRMs, and in Art of Living more particularly. The authors will examine the teachings/ethos/practice of the organization for that might explain the attraction for women. The same pattern of gender distribution characterizes many other NRMs/New Age practices. Based on available material (both literature, observational and survey data) we will pay some attention to matters of power, body and sexuality, and how these are performed within this particular NRM.

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Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Inga; Ališauskienė, Milda; Lewis, James R.. The Body. AoL East and West - A Study of the Art of Living Foundation. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2026. ISBN 9781781791332. Date accessed: 29 Feb 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.22341. Oct 2026

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