Open a map or walk through downtown New Haven and observe the roads that crisscross Yale University: Church Street, Chapel Street, Temple Street. These names undoubtedly refer to the Christian spirit of the university’s founders. Indeed, the official history of the university as recorded on the central website reads: “Yale’s roots can be traced back [...]
We first generation Hindu Chaplains must therefore find a way to translate our traditions for a broad audience without apologetics or sacrificing internal diversity in return. The enduring question: How do we do this?
A recent New York Times article, “Hindu Group Stirs a Debate Over Yoga’s Soul” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/nyregion/28yoga.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1), has ignited controversy not just in the United States, but also in India with a Times of India reprint. Briefly, the Hindu American Foundation has nationally campaigned to acknowledge yoga’s origins as a way of highlighting Hinduism’s worldly contributions. This [...]
I recently attended a Diwali celebration in Connecticut. The event secured the major essentials of a second generation, Indian-American function: a late start [working to our advantage], a troupe of tweens and teens singing and dancing, their fawning parents frantically photographing and videotaping them, and a dynamic, devotional group of musicians that energized the audience [...]
Many people in university chaplaincy must have asked the same questions that gripped me in starting this academic year at the height of the Park51 controversy. How do we convert this situation into an Obamaian “teachable movement” around religious pluralism in a democracy? How do we sensitively extract the central issues for those in favor [...]
Neil Krishan Aggarwal is a research psychiatrist at Columbia University. He graduated with a master's degree in South Asian religions and anthropology from Harvard University. Formerly Hindu Chaplain at Yale University while completing his psychiatric training, he is interested in cultural psychiatry, psychiatric anthropology, and global mental health among South Asians. His research is on developing psychotherapeutic styles from Hinduism, Sikhism, and South Asian Islam and the meanings of redemption/healing in these traditions.