Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Kathryn McClymond - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

David Sehat - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Isaac Weiner - Committee Member


This essay explores ISKCON’s religious text A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, as an American scripture. This commentary expressed a philosophy which attracted ISKCON’s American converts and gave voice to the protest they had against the larger American culture. Using Thomas Tweed’s theory of dissent, I show how the Bhagavad Gita As It Is gave the American converts of the 1960s and 1970s a language of dissent in the larger American conversation and allowed them to create an alternative American identity. In this way, the Bhagavad Gita is an American text.

Included in

Religion Commons