Julia Roberts converts to Hinduism

Movie star Julia Roberts–the ex-wife of Missouri Synod Lutheran Lyle Lovett–has converted to Hinduism, along with her entire family.  She is starring in the movie version of the bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love about a woman who does the same thing.  Maybe Hinduism will become the next religious fad in this country.  It ties into postmodernism in an interesting way, positing that the objective universe is an illusion (cf. “there is no objective truth”) and that god is to be found within the self.  Also, the issue for Hinduism is not so much sin–the body and what we do with it being part of the illusion–as escaping the physical realm by delving inside the self.  It’s a good way to be spiritual without being religious.

See Under God: Julia Roberts is Hindu: Is America ready for a Hindu sweetheart? – Elizabeth Tenety.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    I doubt it. This seems to be another in a sadly long line of actors, musicians and other celebrities that flirt with, and are seduced by, religions centering on the self: Buddhism, Hinduism and it’s variants like Krishna Consciousness or the guru-focused groups like the Maharishi, Scientology, and others. In the unreality and artifice that is so much of Hollywood, religions that promote the unreality and artifice of the universe may hold some peculiar attraction.

  • SKPeterson

    I doubt it. This seems to be another in a sadly long line of actors, musicians and other celebrities that flirt with, and are seduced by, religions centering on the self: Buddhism, Hinduism and it’s variants like Krishna Consciousness or the guru-focused groups like the Maharishi, Scientology, and others. In the unreality and artifice that is so much of Hollywood, religions that promote the unreality and artifice of the universe may hold some peculiar attraction.

  • Winston Smith

    How very sad.

    The sort of “Eastern spirituality” popular with celebrities like Julia Roberts is, indeed, the kind focused on self, rather than on a living God who calls us to die to self and follow Him.

    Will the real Hinduism , complete with blood sacrifice to detestable multi-limbed, animal-faced idols, catch on with Americans? Self-consciously, self-congratulatory “seekers” like Elizabeth Gilbert and Julia roberts don’t seem so keen on that aspect of the religion. Also, I am not holding my breath waiting for any of them to be incinerated on their husbands’ funeral pyres, as was the ancient Indian custom.

    Was it not reported in 2008 that our soon-to-be-President carried on his person a small image of the Hindu “god” Hanuman?

  • Winston Smith

    How very sad.

    The sort of “Eastern spirituality” popular with celebrities like Julia Roberts is, indeed, the kind focused on self, rather than on a living God who calls us to die to self and follow Him.

    Will the real Hinduism , complete with blood sacrifice to detestable multi-limbed, animal-faced idols, catch on with Americans? Self-consciously, self-congratulatory “seekers” like Elizabeth Gilbert and Julia roberts don’t seem so keen on that aspect of the religion. Also, I am not holding my breath waiting for any of them to be incinerated on their husbands’ funeral pyres, as was the ancient Indian custom.

    Was it not reported in 2008 that our soon-to-be-President carried on his person a small image of the Hindu “god” Hanuman?

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Personally, I consider this a public relations gain for Christianity.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Personally, I consider this a public relations gain for Christianity.

  • Carl Vehse

    … the ex-wife of Missouri Synod Lutheran Lyle Lovett

    It appears that whatever Lutheran instruction Roberts may have received in pre-marital counselling at St. James Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Marion, IN, where, in 1993, Julia and Lyle were united in matrimony (for 21 months, anyway), didn’t stick too well.

  • Carl Vehse

    … the ex-wife of Missouri Synod Lutheran Lyle Lovett

    It appears that whatever Lutheran instruction Roberts may have received in pre-marital counselling at St. James Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Marion, IN, where, in 1993, Julia and Lyle were united in matrimony (for 21 months, anyway), didn’t stick too well.

  • Cincinnatus

    If she’s as intelligent and spiritually aware as the typical celebrity, she probably doesn’t even know what Hinduism is.

  • Cincinnatus

    If she’s as intelligent and spiritually aware as the typical celebrity, she probably doesn’t even know what Hinduism is.

  • Steve in Toronto

    I had no idea that Lyle was a Lutheran. Has anyone written about its impact on his work? I am a long time casual fan and I can’t say that I can think of anything that would lead me to think so. As to the spiritual health of miss Roberts her conversion is par for the course and I am sure she will be happy to jump on the next spiritual band wagon as soon as it comes along. Still it is curious that they where married in the LCMS maybe Lyle has not drifted as far from his roots as I think.

  • Steve in Toronto

    I had no idea that Lyle was a Lutheran. Has anyone written about its impact on his work? I am a long time casual fan and I can’t say that I can think of anything that would lead me to think so. As to the spiritual health of miss Roberts her conversion is par for the course and I am sure she will be happy to jump on the next spiritual band wagon as soon as it comes along. Still it is curious that they where married in the LCMS maybe Lyle has not drifted as far from his roots as I think.

  • Louis

    Cincinnatus has it right – in my experience, the “real” adherents of whatever religion gives little stock to the celebrity conversions. “Hinduism” as practised by these people is a Disney-version of the real thing. Some even take affront at these dabblings.

  • Louis

    Cincinnatus has it right – in my experience, the “real” adherents of whatever religion gives little stock to the celebrity conversions. “Hinduism” as practised by these people is a Disney-version of the real thing. Some even take affront at these dabblings.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Steve, I talked to one of your fellow Canadian pastors who told me about a brother pastor whose church Lyle visited one Sunday, along with his band, while they were on tour. Lyle explained to his band members the LCA/LCMS practice of closed communion!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Steve, I talked to one of your fellow Canadian pastors who told me about a brother pastor whose church Lyle visited one Sunday, along with his band, while they were on tour. Lyle explained to his band members the LCA/LCMS practice of closed communion!

  • WebMonk

    Another option, and my particular guess, is that the “conversion” to Hinduism is for the sake of the upcoming movie – generate a bit more buzz about it.

  • WebMonk

    Another option, and my particular guess, is that the “conversion” to Hinduism is for the sake of the upcoming movie – generate a bit more buzz about it.

  • sg

    I assume she “converted” to upper caste Hindu.

  • sg

    I assume she “converted” to upper caste Hindu.

  • WebMonk

    I certainly don’t think she “converted” to the Dalit class!

  • WebMonk

    I certainly don’t think she “converted” to the Dalit class!

  • Steve in Toronto

    Thanks’ Dr. Veith. For his sake I hope his faith is the real thing. It’s always hard to tell with an artist who writes “in character” where he realy coming from. I am going to go on a mini Lyle Lovett binge and see if I can find any crypto-Lutheran subtexts.

  • Steve in Toronto

    Thanks’ Dr. Veith. For his sake I hope his faith is the real thing. It’s always hard to tell with an artist who writes “in character” where he realy coming from. I am going to go on a mini Lyle Lovett binge and see if I can find any crypto-Lutheran subtexts.

  • Tom Hering

    From the Washington Post article:

    “And since in Hindu cosmology souls can be reincarnated in other bodies, where does she see herself in the next life? ‘Golly, I’ve been so spoiled with my friends and family in this life,’ she says. ‘Next time I want to be just something quiet and supporting.’”

    She can’t ever have believed the Gospel, because no one in their right mind would turn from the Gospel to this mish-mash of uncertainties.

  • Tom Hering

    From the Washington Post article:

    “And since in Hindu cosmology souls can be reincarnated in other bodies, where does she see herself in the next life? ‘Golly, I’ve been so spoiled with my friends and family in this life,’ she says. ‘Next time I want to be just something quiet and supporting.’”

    She can’t ever have believed the Gospel, because no one in their right mind would turn from the Gospel to this mish-mash of uncertainties.

  • John C

    Surely, 825 million Indians can’t be wrong.

  • John C

    Surely, 825 million Indians can’t be wrong.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    What is it with aging American women and their infatuation with various shades of Hinduism? I see a lot of this kind of thing, well to do white women adopting eastern religions and practices, following gurus, going on pilgrimages to India, etc. What is the appeal?

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    What is it with aging American women and their infatuation with various shades of Hinduism? I see a lot of this kind of thing, well to do white women adopting eastern religions and practices, following gurus, going on pilgrimages to India, etc. What is the appeal?

  • Pingback: Catholic media criticizes “Eat Pray Love” movie & appears to belittle Hinduism « Earthpages.org – August 2010

  • Pingback: Catholic media criticizes “Eat Pray Love” movie & appears to belittle Hinduism « Earthpages.org – August 2010


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