By Robert S. Ellwood
Filenote: PDF is searchable picture ocr, 212 pages with Front/Back cover.
The explosive occasions of Jonestown and Koreagate have riveted the eyes of the US at the burgeoning and principally misunderstood stream of latest spiritual cults. Robert S. Elwood makes an attempt to extra our figuring out of those occult, mystical and japanese religious routine within the usa through putting them in a a distinctively American context, demonstrating that they're neither new or alien.
This compact quantity combines extraordinary volume of historic info with present interpretative theories approximately deepest pilgrimages and sectarian differentiation. the writer covers quite a lot of emergent, non-normative spiritual types and notes that they've omprised myriad contributors, every one following related styles of non-public excursus or quests for internal cognizance. After discussing the typical positive aspects of such non secular festiveness, Ellwood highlights Shaker Spiritualism, Theosophy, and as illustrative of a continuing and sundry culture of non secular experimentation in America.... possibly this book's maximum contribution is to make it very unlikely any more to disregard those religions as actual expressions of non secular situation which mainline church buildings attempt vainly to demonize
-- Religion experiences Review
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Extra info for Alternative Altars: Unconventional and Eastern Spirituality in America (Chicago History of American Religion)
This tradition (excluding the strong group aspect of Christian Science) has many common characteristics in with the weak group, strong grid pattern. Perhaps that because of is sociological background in the primordial American weak group ambience joined with the implicit status-consciousness of the later successful capitalists who have been its most typical adherents. One its finds in the literature of this tradition a basically pragmatic attitude which in failure is the real sin. in which semi-magic may be used as a all sons of semi-rituals and means of strengthening the positive thoughts which are the forces through which the ego attains success.
And countercultures, and pilgrimages. Turner calls this are told, of Utopias in festivals communitas the desire for unstructured excursus quest for plenitude of grid and group? I correlate with the believe that it can, and, indeed, that in this quest strong grid and group are intended as symbols of communitas. In a traditionally strong grid and group society, the search for communitas might take other forms. " It is actually structure, a pleni- space and time tude of group and grid structure, which makes lines of its this possible, for the sinews are lines of communication, whereas for the excursus mind, lack of structure implies a chaos in which no real transcendent (or interhuman) communication or relationship possible.
Far from being short-lived, some tury, while admittedly perpetuating a religion at great variance Spiritualist institutions have survived over a cen- with community beliefs, and centered on "mystical" experience and personal problems. '^ itself go, the movement without benefit of the kind of educa- institutional solidity It 1 which undergirds "main- seems, in other words, to play by different rules. Our model, on the other hand, would emphasize and conceptual framework for the continuities of Spiritualism as (to name — give a as well only the three traditions discussed at length in this book) the relationship of Theosophy with Spiritualism and of American Zen Theosophy.
Alternative Altars: Unconventional and Eastern Spirituality in America (Chicago History of American Religion) by Robert S. Ellwood