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One Foot in Helsinki, One Foot in Mayapur: ISKCON Finland as a Glocal European Religion

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ISKCON is traditionally studied as a new religious movement (NRM) or an instance of diasporic Hinduism. I argue here that an examination of the Finnish branch of ISKCON can be conceptualized as a case of a glocalized (global-local) religious movement wherein members have created amalgamated identities straddling the borders between nation states and cultures. Members have created a hybrid religious community appealing to both native-born Finns seeking to challenge and redefine the notion of Finnishness and Europeanness, and Indian immigrants seeking to bridge the boundaries between their new Finnish social-religious context and their Indian social-religious heritage. It offers a powerful example of the way in which members of a religious community have utilized their religious identity to situate themselves within the contemporary context of a secularized neoliberal European state.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor of Religion, Lake Forest College,


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