Buying Buddha, Selling Rumi

Pages: 272
Subject: Religion, Religion: Buddhism, Religion: Hinduism, Religion: Islam, Spirituality
Imprint: Oneworld Academic
Illustrations: integrated greyscale illustrations

Buying Buddha, Selling Rumi

Orientalism and the Mystical Marketplace

Sophia Rose Arjana

How Eastern religions are commodified in the modern world, and why it matters
9781786077714 (7 May 2020)
RRP £20.00 / US$30.00

The Book

In our consumer capitalist society, it should surprise no one that religion is for sale as never before. From jewellery to meditation pillows to tourist retreats, Eastern religious traditions are imitated, rebranded as ‘new age' or ‘spiritual', and marketed as an answer to suffering in the modern world. For the secular individual, the ‘mystical' and ‘exotic' East is offered as a path to enlightenment and inner peace.

In Buying Buddha, Selling Rumi, Sophia Arjana asks what happens when different cultures and religious traditions are turned into products to be sold for profit. How does it affect our conception of the peoples and places these ideas are taken from? And can we ever reconcile the individual's virtuous pursuit of self-improvement with the lucrative colonial project that is the commercialisation of mysticism?

Additional Information

Subject Religion, Religion: Buddhism, Religion: Hinduism, Religion: Islam, Spirituality
Pages 272
Imprint Oneworld Academic
Illustrations integrated greyscale illustrations


About the Author

Sophia Rose Arjana is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Western Kentucky University. Her previous books include Pilgrimage in Islam, also published by Oneworld, and Muslims in the Western Imagination, which was a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of the Year. She lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.


‘Arjana's research adds new perspective to even the most prominent example of Muslim pilgrimages… The writing is lucid and engaging, and the research is thorough and sensitive to complexity.'

- Publishers Weekly, starred review of Pilgrimage in Islam

Also by this author