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Eastern Religions and Cults in America

*The books listed here are primarily historical accounts of an Eastern religion or cult in the U.S., which continue to shape American culture today. The purpose of this list is not to introduce or promote spiritual practices or philosophical teachings of any particular religion or cult.

All inclusive:

  • Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History by Thomas A. Tweed and Stephen Prothero

  • Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs in America: A Short History (Religion in American Life) by Gurinder Singh Mann

  • Hindu and Sikh Faiths in America (Faith in America Series) by Gail M. Harley

  • We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future by Deepa Iyer


Buddhism in America:

  • American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War by Duncan Ryūken Williams

  • Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists by Chenxing Han

  • American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity by Ann Gleig

  • Buddhism in America by Scott Mitchell

  • Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture by Jeff Wilson

  • The Star Spangled Buddhist: Zen, Tibetan, and Soka Gakkai Buddhism and the Quest for Enlightenment in America by Jeffrey Ourvan


Hinduism in America:

  • Homegrown Gurus: From Hinduism in America to American Hinduism by Ann Gleig and Lola Williamson

  • Hinduism in America: A Convergence of Worlds Jeffery D. Long

  • A Place at the Multicultural Table: The Development of an American Hinduism by Prema Kurien

  • Kind of Hindu (Nothing Like I Imagined) by Mindy Kaling


Muslim in America:

  • Muslims in America: Examining the Facts by Craig Considine

  • Burqas, Baseball, and Apple Pie: Being Muslim in America by Ranya Tabari Idliby

  • How to Be a Muslim: An American Story by Haroon Moghul

  • This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror by Moustafa Bayoumi


Rajneesh Movement in America:

  • The Rajneesh Chronicles: The True Story of the Cult that Unleashed the First Act of Bioterrorism on U.S. Soil by Win McCormack

  • Breaking the Spell: My life as a Rajneeshee and the long journey back to freedom by Jane Stork

Sikhism in America:

  • Bullying of Sikh American Children: Through the Eyes of a Sikh American High School Student by Karanveer Singh Pannu

  • Her Name Is Kaur: Sikh American Women Write about Love, Courage, and Faith by Meeta Kaur

  • Sikh Caucus: Siege in Delhi, Surrender in Washington by Pieter Friedrich

  • Sikhs in North America: An Annotated Bibliography by Darshan Singh Tatla


Unification Church (“Moonies”) in America:

  • Doomsday Cult: A Study Of Conversion, Proselytization, And Maintenance Of Faith by John Lofland

  • Bad Moon Rising: How Reverend Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right, and Built an American Kingdom by John Gorenfeld

  • Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church by Frederick Sontag

  • In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family by Nansook Hong

Yoga and New Age Spirituality in America:

  • The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America by Stefanie Syman

  • American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation How Indian Spirituality Changed the West by Philip Goldberg

  • Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion by Lola Williamson

  • The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru by Philip Goldberg

  • The Great Oom: The Improbable Birth of Yoga in America by Robert Love

  • Hare Krishna In America by E. Burke Rochford

  • Confessions of an American Sikh: Locked up in India, corrupt cops & my escape from a "New Age" tantric yoga cult! by Gursant Singh

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