Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Modes of institutionalization in the Hare Krishna movement

Vítor Hugo Adami


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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