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As I started to dig through the historical material I could see that I had to apply some restrictions to my approach, as the word yoga – even in a specific technical meaning -was much more widely used than I had imagined. If I did not restrict the scope of research this book would never end. There was for instance the Yogacara – meaning those whose practice is yoga – a 4-500 AD Buddhist branch. Buddhism mostly does not use the word yoga, but here was a branch, which was an exception. So would a detailed study of Yogacara Buddhism not be within the frame of this book? Maybe, but to discuss the extreme sophisticated and complex Yogacara, we would have to dive into very detailed explanations of Buddhist philosophy, which is beyond the scope of the book. So I only briefly mention such discourses as far as they are relevant and try to stick to social strata where the use of the yoga notion was widespread.
Collins (1998) points out that intellectual discourses have their own internal dynamic. Their ideas stimulate creations of new ideas charging the individual with emotional energy. This is what I have in mind and I thereby avoid the notions that ideas are only passive reflections of social conditions.
See for instance Glucklich (2001) who uses a interdisciplinary method in explaining religious behaviour using pain – especially as she employs neuropsychology very innovatively.
For an introduction to Bourdieu and ‘cultural field’ see for instance Jenkins (2002), Webb & Schirato & Danaher (2002), Thompson (2012) and Schwartz (1997).
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