Why shopping for our spirituality
in all corners of the world can be a problem

The case of yoga

Lecture by Liz Bucar on 3 May 2023

In this talk Liz Bucar uses the framework of appropriation to unpack the ethics of yoga. What does it mean to insist yoga is a spiritual but not religious practice? Are we entitled to borrow any practice in the pursuit of our personal health? What forms of structural injustice does the popularity of yoga depend on and reinforce? A leading scholar of religious ethics, Bucar draws on her own experience becoming a certified Kripalu yoga instructor to explore the moral risks of intercultural borrowing. She argues that when we ignore the core religious beliefs of the faithful and commodify their practices, we risk further marginalizing minority groups and reinforcing social inequities.

Liz Bucar is an award-winning author and professor of religion at Northeastern University in the USA. In her latest book, Stealing My Religion, she unpacks the ethical dilemmas of a messy form of cultural appropriation—religious appropriation—asking what the implications are for borrowing the religion of others. As Bucar continually tests the limits of borrowing dress, doctrines, and rituals from Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, occasionally reflecting on her own missteps, she comes to a surprising conclusion: the way to avoid religious appropriation isn’t to borrow less; it’s to borrow more.


This is lecture is part of the series ‘Big Questions’ on the social issues then and now. UCSIA developed this series for the Antwerp city festival Baroque Influencers.

More ‘Big Questions’ at the ‘Baroque Influencers’ city festival:

Lea Ipy

Solidarity, Immigration
& Social Class

Big Questions of Baroque Influencers
29 March 2023


How dangerous is the faith of the other?

lecture (in Dutch)
Big Questions of Baroque Influencers
9 May 2023

Wim Decock

Social Struggles & Solidarity

lecture (in Dutch)
Big Questions of Baroque Influencers
16 March 2023

Date & Time

Wednesday 3 May 2023
8.00 – 9.30 p.m.


De Roma
Turnhoutsebaan 286
2140 Borgerhout


Ticket prices: 5 euro
Get your tickets here!


Prinsstraat 14
B-2000 Antwerpen
Tel. +32 (0)3 265 49 60
Fax +32 (0)3 707 09 31