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Religions 2017, 8(6), 101; doi:10.3390/rel8060101

Rethinking Neo-Vedānta: Swami Vivekananda and the Selective Historiography of Advaita Vedānta1

Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, Pod Vodárenskou věží 4, Prague 18208, Czech Republic
Academic Editors: Francis X. Clooney, S.J.
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
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Abstract

This paper problematizes the prevalent model of studying the “Neo-Vedānta” of Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902) principally in terms of an influx of Western ideas and nationalism. In particular, I demonstrate how scholarly constructions of “Neo-Vedānta” consistently appeal to a high culture, staticized understanding of “traditional” Advaita Vedānta as the alterity for locating Vivekananda’s “neo” or new teachings. In doing so, such studies ignore the diverse medieval and early modern developments in advaitic and Advaita Vedāntic traditions which were well-known to Vivekananda and other “Neo-Vedāntins”. Redressing this discursive imbalance, I propose that close attention to the way in which Swami Vivekananda drew from Indic texts opens up a wider frame for understanding the swami and the genealogy of his cosmopolitan theology. View Full-Text
Keywords: Swami Vivekananda; Neo-Vedānta; Advaita Vedānta; Advaita; modern Hinduism Swami Vivekananda; Neo-Vedānta; Advaita Vedānta; Advaita; modern Hinduism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Madaio, J. Rethinking Neo-Vedānta: Swami Vivekananda and the Selective Historiography of Advaita Vedānta1. Religions 2017, 8, 101.

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