By Catherine L. Albanese
This path-breaking ebook tells the tale of yank metaphysical faith extra totally than it has ever been instructed prior to, alongside the way in which considerably revising the landscape of yankee non secular historical past. Catherine L. Albanese follows metaphysical traditions from Renaissance Europe to England after which the USA, the place they've got flourished from colonial days to the twenty-first century, mixing usually with African, local American, and different cultural elements.The ebook follows evolving types of metaphysical faith, together with Freemasonry, early Mormonism, Universalism, and Transcendentalism—and such additional incarnations as Spiritualism, Theosophy, New notion, Christian technological know-how, and reinvented types of Asian principles and practices. carrying on with into the 20th century and after, the e-book indicates how the metaphysical combine has broadened to surround alien ship task, channeling, and chakras within the New Age movement—and a wider new spirituality within the current. In its personal means, Albanese argues, American metaphysical faith has been as lively, persuasive, and influential because the evangelical culture that's extra usually the point of interest of non secular students’ consciousness. She makes the case that due to its combinative nature—its skill to include differing ideals and practices—metaphysical faith bargains key insights into the background of all American religions.
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Additional info for A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion
12 Rather than be a near-passive receptor of the divine Intelligence, set against the backdrop of a vast cosmology based on astrological laws through which the earth as we know it is ruled by the stars and the seven planets, the Hermetic discourses present the individual religious seeker as agonist. Longing for illumination, for the intuitive wisdom-knowledge of the divine, the Hermetic seeker searches out salvation—but this without the personal God or redeemer of Christian teaching. Instead, even granting a distant oracular background, salvation comes from the seeker’s own work, from the eﬀort that yields the wisdom-knowledge itself.
Some of its sources were products of the nineteenth century and—for twentieth-century and later versions—thereafter, but others arrived earlier. The oldest legacies were culturally available in certain forms on American shores in the seventeenth century, and it is these sources that had the ﬁrst say on what became the tradition. The classical and Hellenistic Greco-Roman world (which included northern Egypt), behind and beside it the Near East, later medieval Christian, Jewish, and synthetic lores and practices, Renaissance and continuing religious scholarship and experiment, a series of European folk traditions, their English equivalents, an English Elizabethan high cultural inheritance, Native American narratological traditions and ceremonial work, African American versions of the same—all came together in the British North Atlantic colonies that later became the United States.
26 Often understood as the ancestor of modern chemistry, this last—along with astrological medicine—became widely linked to a developing Hermeticism, suggesting already the combinative ambience and enthusiasm for ‘‘science’’ that would characterize the metaphysical tradition in Europe and America. For the proponents of what became the ‘‘Hermetic art,’’ the Hermetic legacy, in fact, was science, but science of a higher sort, in which illumination was key. Faivre has noted that the earliest alchemical text we know—attributed to Robert of Chester as his Latin translation (Liber compositione alchemiae quem edidit Morienus Ro- European Legacies 33 manus) of an Arabic work in 1144 (but probably later)—credited Hermes with inventing the arts and sciences.
A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion by Catherine L. Albanese