Modes of institutionalization in the Hare Krishna movement
The purpose of this article is to consider the extent to which individuals are institutionalized by a religious tradition. I will base my discussion on Whitehouse’s theory of ‘modes of religiosity’ and a brief description of three life histories of Western individuals who joined the Hare Krishna movement (ISKCON). I shall attempt to analyze how they use their knowledge of this tradition to readjust and reinterpret their religious beliefs and practices from the perspective of a local and global mode of institutionalization. I shall also briefly discuss these institutional dynamics which, at the same time, create equality and alterity so that individuals can possess a sense of both religious identity and belonging to a religious community.
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