chapter  5
A One World Family
Pages 36

Art of Living makes a great deal of its global scope. AOL indicates it is an organisation that ‘operates globally in 152 countries and has touched the lives of 370 million people’ (AOLF 2012a). It has international centres, not only in Bangalore India, but also near Montreal in Canada, North Carolina in the USA and in the Black Forest in Germany. There are AOL ashrams in Poland and China, as well as in other parts of India, such as Pune and Baroda, and centres from South America to Mongolia. In 2011 Art of Living celebrated its 30th anniversary under the banner of a World Culture Festival. One of the major tropes is the idea of ‘a one world family’. Of course many religions have, almost from their inception, spread outwards from their point of origin. Christianity, spread very quickly from the land that is now mostly known as Israel, and Islam was disseminated very rapidly beyond the Saudi Arabian peninsula. We commonly talk about world religions. In other words there are particular religious traditions that are not restricted to very specific geographical locations and/or particular cultural groups. It could be argued that religion is both an index and agent of the processes of globalisation.