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« Is Confucian Reciprocity a "Silver Rule"? | Main | A Summer Course: "Confucianism in America" »

March 30, 2014


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Interesting thoughts; I have deep doubts about the universalizability of Western culture... about the very existence of something coherent under that definition.

I think yoga is an interesting example in this regard: the "universalized" yoga in the US and Europe is nothing like South Asian practices, but is translated through the lens of Western orientalism and modernistic physical fitness ideologies to create a commodified product. It's not universal at all, but very particular and very different than its original form. It's a little like "The Lion King": Capitalism absorbs raw cultural material, repackages it, and sells it back to the world at a huge profit.....

Yes, I think you're right. I got carried away a bit in deploying "authentic". I agree that most cultural flows now are mediated by capital and that yoga is good example of that sort of commodification. But I wonder if religious practice might be different in some way. Might religious cultural flows be shaped by intentions and desires other than materialist fetishisms?

But I wonder if globalization doesn't contradict your other point about the limits of universalizing "Western" culture. It is precisely in the capacity to commodify elements of that culture that their universalization can be achieved. No?

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