February 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm

Gawande Lecture Explores Potential Dangers within Guru-Disciple Relationships

By From Ohio Today

While sexual harassment accusations dominate headlines in the United States, similar instances of abuse are making news within Hinduism’s guru culture.

Dr. Amanda Lucia, portrait

Dr. Amanda Lucia

Amanda Lucia, associate professor of religious studies at University of California, Riverside, explored this topic with the Ohio University community during her lecture, “Touching God: Charisma, Proxemic Desire, and the Haptic Logics of the Guru Disciple Relationships,” on  Feb. 8 as part of OHIO’s biannual Gawande Lecture Series.

Lucia, who specializes in Hindu guru-disciple relationships, spoke at the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies conference room on Court Street about her decades of research on the connection between Indian gurus and their devoted followers, called devotees.

“Her work intersects both Hinduism and gender sexuality studies, so a lot of people can get something out of this,” said Dr. Brian Collins, the Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy and creator of the Gawande Lecture Series.

Gurus have been an important part of Indian culture for centuries, Lucia explained. They act as spiritual guides or teachers to their followers, leading them closer to sacred gods, goddesses and other objects worshipped by their religion.

Read the entire story at Ohio Today.


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