In today's episode we talk with Dr. Suzanne Newcombe and Dr. Karen O'Brien-Kop about their recent collaboration co-editing The Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies (2021), and the labor of love that went into creating this interdisciplinary collaboration. We also discuss the history of yoga studies, the difference between academic "field" and "discipline," how academic work can overlap with the daily spiritual practice of the scholar, and what makes Modern Yoga Studies a unique field.
Suzanne Newcombe is a senior lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University, UK, and honorary director of Inform, based in Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College, London. She has published on topics relating to the popularisation of yoga and ayurveda including the monograph Yoga in Britain: Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis (2019). She researched the transformation of yoga and ayurveda in modern India as part of the ERC-funded AYURYOG project from 2015-2020.
Karen O’Brien-Kop is a lecturer in Asian Religions and Ethics at the University of Roehampton, UK, and was formerly a senior teaching fellow at SOAS University of London. She received her PhD from SOAS, titled Seed and Cloud of Liberation in Buddhist and Pātañjala Yoga: An Intertextual Study and continues to research classical Sanskrit texts on yoga and meditation. She has published articles in Religions of South Asia and the Journal of Indian Philosophy and is currently working on a monograph on classical yoga and Buddhism.
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