Stagnation and the growth of the Rajneesh movement in Nepal
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Based on a four month long ethnographic study among followers of Rajneesh in Kathmandu, Nepal, this study explains why Nepal’s Rajneesh movement stagnated for about two decades, and why it suddenly started growing rapidly in the 1990s. To explain this phenomenon, I employ theoretical perspectives developed in the United States. First, this study shows that the new paradigm, which is said to be uniquely suited to the socio-historical conditions of the United States, can fruitfully be applied to a non-Western and non-Christian context of Nepal. Second, drawing on the sociology of culture and social movement theories, this study argues that we need a broad and dynamic concept of culture to fully comprehend the phenomenon of new religious movements. Third, this study explores locally-based unique factors, which contributed to the stagnation and the eventual growth of the Rajneesh movement in Nepal.