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Dr hab. Agata Świerzowska

Dr hab. Agata Świerzowska

e-mail: agata.swierzowska@uj.edu.pl

With passion and devotion, Dr Świerzowska explains to students the intricacies of comparative religions, the modern theory of religion, anthropological visions of reality and what has happened for centuries and still happens within the Indian yoga tradition.

Academic interests

  • Indian yoga tradition with a special focus on the accounts of the changes which began in the postcolonial period and still continue today („modern yoga”), the history of yoga in Poland - its adaptation and specificity (until 1939; yoga during the Polish People's Republic 1947-1989)
  • Polish esoteric traditions until1939; 
  •  vegetarianism in Poland until 1939 – the idea, practice and promotion;
  • the transformation of contemporary spirituality, with a particular emphasis on themes of oriental origin; 
  • the theory of religion, myth and ritual.

Selected publications

  • 2019, Joga w Polsce od końca XIX wieku do 1939 roku : konteksty ezoteryczne i interpretacje [Yoga in Poland from the late 19th century to 1939. Esoteric contexts and Interpretations], Wydawnictwo UJ, Kraków 2019, pp. 555. 
  • 2019, The Temple Road towards a Great India : Birla Mandirs as a Strategy for Reconstructing Nation and Tradition, Wydawnictwo UJ, Kraków 2019, pp. 680 (coauthored with z M. Kudelska, D. Kamińska-Jones, A. Staszczyk).  
  • 2019, From Rāmacharaka’s "Standard of the Normal Man" to Lutosławski’s Strategy of National Revival. How Rāmacharaka’s Interpretation of Yoga Fits with the Early Stage of Yoga Adaptation in Poland, „Anthropos”, 114/2, pp. 437-452.
  • 2019, Mieczysław Geniusz: His Quest for the Spirit of the Nation and the Synthesis of Esoteric Philosophy, [in:] Polish Esoteric Traditions. Selected Issues, A.Świerzowska (ed.), Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego, Gdańsk, pp. 82-96. 
  • 2018, Illness Narratives in the Esoteric Vision of the World: Agnieszka Pilchowa’s Views and Concepts, „Religio” XXVI, pp. 49-70 (coauthored with I. Trzcińska). 
  • 2017, Ramakrishna – radźajogin i mesjasz. Obraz bengalskiego mistyka w polskiej literaturze ezoterycznej okresu międzywojennego [Ramakishna – Rajayogi and a Messiah An Image of a Bengali Mystic in the Polish Esoteric Literature of the Inter-war Period] , [in:] I. Trzcińska, A. Świerzowska (red.), Wyobraźnia w kulturze. Duchowość, sztuka, literatura, Seria: Idee i Myśliciele, t. XXII, Kraków, pp. 131-155. 
  • 2017, Yoga as Synthesis. Yoga as Revival. Eugeniusz Polończyk’s Vision of Yoga. Contribution to the Study of the History of Yoga in Interwar Poland, „Studia Religiologica” nr 50 (2), pp. 173-188. 
  • 2016, On the Road to Great India - a Program of National Revival. The Saraswati Temple in Pilani as an Expression of  the Worldview of G.D. Birla, “Politeja” nr 40, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, pp. 129-158 (coauthored with  M. Kudelska i A. Staszczyk). 
  • 2015. Dlaczego Józef Świtkowski deprecjonuje hatha jogę? Obraz hatha jogi i jego źródła w poglądach polskiego jogina-ezoteryka [Why Does Józef Świtkowski Depreciate Hatha Yoga? Image of Hatha Yoga and Its Sources in the Views of Polish Yogi-Esoteric], [in:] I. Trzcińska, A. Świerzowska, K.M. Hess (eds.), Studia ezoteryczne. Wątki polskie, Wydawnictwo UJ, Kraków, pp. 150-165. 
  • 2013, Guru. Między tradycją a współczesnością [Guru. Between tradition and present day], Nomos, Kraków, p. 294.

Research projects

  • NCN research grant [UMO-2013/09/B/HS1/02005] Birla mandirs – the contemporary Hindu temple complexes as an example of modernisation by going back to tradition (with Professor Marta Kudelska and Agnieszka Staszczyk, Ph.D); 
  • NPRH  research grant [2bH 15 0186 83] Polish Culture in relations to the Western Esoteric Philosophy in the years 1890-1939 (under the supervision of Professor Monika Rzeczycka, Univeristy of Gdansk). 
  • yoga in Poland during the PRL period – thehistory, organization, forms of practice;
  • vegetarianism in Poland until 1939 – the idea, practice, promotion, relations with Polish national philosophy and pro-independence concepts.

Other achievements

  • Editor-in-Chief of "The Polish Journal of the Arts and Culture. New Series" http://www.ejournals.eu/PJACNS/.
  • Member of Polish Society for the Study of Western Esotericism Członek Polskiego Stowarzyszenia http://badania-nad-ezoteryzmem.org.pl.
  • Editor of the “Bezkresy kultury” [Infinitudes of Culture] publishing series published in cooperation with the Jagiellonian University Press.

Hobbies

  • Literary English translations of documents picturing religious and spiritual life, showing religious visions of reality; the most important and interesting translations are as follows:
    • 2017, Alfonso Ortiz, Richard Erdoes (red.) Mity i legendy Indian Ameryki Północnej, part II, Alter, Kraków, s. 357 (Alfonso Ortiz, Richard Erdoes (eds.) American Indian Myths and Legends, New York 1984).
    • 2012 Alfonso Ortiz, Richard Erdoes (eds.) Mity i legendy Indian Ameryki Północnej, part I, Alter, Kraków, pp. 264 [Alfonso Ortiz, Richard Erdoes (eds.) American Indian Myths and Legends, New York 1984].
    • 2009 Thomas Merton, O odnowie życia zakonnego i kierownictwie duchowym. Niepublikowane listy, Wydawnictwo M, pp. 596 [Thomas Merton, The School of Charity: The letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Reneval and Spiritual Direction, selected and edited by brother Patrick Hart, Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.A., 1990].