Suzanne Newcombe researches the modern history of yoga and new and minority religions. She states that she is particularly interested in "the interfaces between religion, health and healing." She is known in particular for her work on yoga for women and yoga in Britain.
Early life and education
Suzanne Newcombe grew up in Kansas. She studied religion at Amherst College in Massachusetts with a year at SOAS in London. She took a master's degree in Religion in Contemporary Society at the London School of Economics. She obtained her PhD at the University of Cambridge on the popularisation of yoga and ayurvedic medicine in Britain.
Newcombe is a senior lecturer at the Open University, working on the sociology and social history of modern and contemporary religion, publishing partiuclarly in the areas of modern yoga and Ayurveda. She edits and helped to found the Journal of Yoga Studies, and the "Modern Yoga Research" website. She was a researcher on the European Research Council funded AYURYOG: Entangled Histories of Yoga, Ayurveda and Alchemy in South Asia project which ran from 2015-2020. Newcombe has appeared on BBC radio and television to discuss modern yoga and religious practices.
Newcombe appeared on ABC News 20/20's broadcast on the subject of the Heaven's Gate Cult and spoke that everyone is potentially susceptible to joining a cult stating that "No one ever joins a Cult".
Susan J. Palmer, reviewing Prophecy in the New Millennium for the Review of Religious Research, called the book "a rich and ground-breaking study that should stimulate a fresh interest in this enigmatic phenomenon."
Benjamin D. Crace, reviewing Prophecy in the New Millennium for Nova Religio, describes it as "a concise introduction to prophecy, its history, current role, and trajectory" that explores why prophecy "continues to persist as modernity fails and the world becomes increasingly interconnected." Crace notes that "some readers will find the narratives more readable and interesting" than the scholarly analysis.
Christopher Patrick Miller described Yoga in Britain for Religions of South Asia as a "detailed and well-researched analysis of the most significant forms of yoga that developed in Britain during the twentieth century... (providing) scholars and yoga practitioners with an original, detailed, and yet easy-to-read history of the development of yoga theory and praxis as it interfaced with twentieth-century Britain."
Susannah Crockford, reviewing the Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies for Nova Religio, writes that "The editors bring together an admirable breadth and depth of knowledge on yoga, and for that alone, this is an essential resource for anyone interested in yoga studies."
- 2013 Prophecy in the New Millennium: When Prophecies Persist, Routledge (edited, with Sarah Harvey) ISBN 978-1409449959
- 2017 The Revival of Yoga in Contemporary India Oxford Research Encyclopedias
- 2019 Yoga in Britain: Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis, Equinox ISBN 978-1781796610
- 2021 ed. with Karen O’Brien-Kop. Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies. Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781351050753
- Yoga in Britain, the focus of Newcombe's research
- "Dr Suzanne Newcombe". The Open University. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
- Newcombe, Suzanne (2007). "Stretching for Health and Well-Being: Yoga and Women in Britain, 1960–1980". Asian Medicine. 3 (1): 37–63. doi:10.1163/157342107X207209.
- Singleton, Mark (2010). Yoga Body: the origins of modern posture practice. Oxford University Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-19-539534-1. OCLC 318191988.
- "Suzanne Newcombe". The Open University. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
- "Journal of Yoga Studies". Journal of Yoga Studies. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- "Modern Yoga Research". Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- "AYURYOG". AYURYOG. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
- "Suzanne Newcombe". Embodied Philosophy. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- "Inform About Us". Inform. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
- Diane Sawyer, Suzanne Newcombe, Janja Lalich (11 March 2022). The Cult Next Door: The Mystery and Madness of Heaven's Gate. Event occurs at 0:25:00. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
Everyone could be vulnerable if the right message comes at the right, or the very wrong time, in their lives. No one ever joins a cult; no one ever says "oh I'm going to go and give up my critical thinking and sell my soul to someone who's obviously trying to manipulate me."
- Palmer, Susan J. (2014). "Sarah Harvey and Suzanne Newcombe (eds): Prophecy in the New Millennium: When Prophecies Persist". Review of Religious Research. 57 (1): 165–167. doi:10.1007/s13644-014-0196-8. S2CID 256240560.
- Crace, Benjamin D. (2014). "Prophecy in the New Millennium: When Prophecies Persist Prophecy in the New Millennium: When Prophecies Persist . Edited by Sarah Harvey and Suzanne Newcombe . Ashgate Publishing Limited , 2013 . 295 pages. $124.95 cloth; $40.46 paper". Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 18 (2): 112–113. doi:10.1525/nr.2014.18.2.112.
- Miller, Christopher Patrick (2019). "Yoga in Britain: Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis, by Suzanne New-combe. Sheffield: Equinox, 2019. xiv + 309 pp., £75.00 / $100.00 (hb), £24.95 / $36.00 (pb). ISBN 978-1-78179-659-7 (hb), 978-1-78179-661-0 (pb)". Religions of South Asia. 12 (3): 413–416. doi:10.1558/rosa.39893.
- Crockford, Susannah (2022). "Review Essay: Searching for the Forest among the Trees, A Review of Four Recent Books in Yoga Studies". Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 25 (3): 113–118. doi:10.1525/nr.2022.25.3.113. hdl:10871/128697.