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In Every Town and Village: Adaptive Strategies in the Communication of Krishna Consciousness in the UK, the First Thirty Years

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2000
JournalSocial Compass
Journal number2
Volume47
Number of pages13
Pages153-166
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The raison d'être of ISKCON is the communication of the name of Krishna worldwide, ensuring that it reaches into the hearts and minds of those in every town and village. ISKCON's own intention, derived from the teachings of Chaitanya and preached unceasingly by the founder, Bhaktivedanta Swami, provides a focus for assessing the success of the movement since its arrival in England in 1968. What strategies have been adopted for achieving this objective? How have the strategies changed as ISKCON has increased its membership and support throughout the UK, and has become more established on the public religious scene? Using ISKCON's publications and ephemera, the author evaluates the shift from world-rejection to social integration, and from the desire for refuge to the more recent commitment to encounter and dialogue. Does this represent a change of message or merely the rise of new messengers?