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Fb2 The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination ePub

by Courtney Bender

Category: Americas
Subcategory: History books
Author: Courtney Bender
ISBN: 0226042804
ISBN13: 978-0226042800
Language: English
Publisher: University of Chicago Press (July 15, 2010)
Pages: 272
Fb2 eBook: 1598 kb
ePub eBook: 1663 kb
Digital formats: lit lrf txt rtf

American spirituality-with its focus on individual meaning, experience, and exploration-is usually thought to be a product of the postmodern er. has been added to your Cart.

American spirituality-with its focus on individual meaning, experience, and exploration-is usually thought to be a product of the postmodern era. Bu.

June 2011 · Journal of the American Academy of Religion. But, as The New Metaphysicals makes clear, contemporary American spirituality has historic roots in the nineteenth century and a great deal in common with traditional religious movements. the history of the movement with fieldwork in Cambridge, Massachusettsâ?”a key site of alternative religious inquiry from Emerson and William James to today.

American spirituality-with its focus on individual meaning, experience, and .

American spirituality-with its focus on individual meaning, experience, and exploration-is usually thought to be a product of the postmodern er. The New Metaphysicals promises fundamentally to change how we think not only about contemporary American spirituality but also how we understand what we mean by ‘religion. David Smilde, University of Georgia. In The New Metaphysicals Courtney Bender instead reveals their complex mutual constitution in our common and standard portrayals of American mysticism as without history or structure. Bender’s brilliant use of the tools of practice theory conveys a sense of long-term yet loose structure.

The New Metaphysicals book. American spirituality-with its focus on individual meaning, experience, and exploration-is usually thought to be a product of the postmodern era.

The New Metaphysicals book

The New Metaphysicals book. Metaphysica. raditions thrive within and through practices (such as Professor Taylor’s lecture) that spiritualize and secularize, embody and offer escape from embodiment.

Mobile version (beta). The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination. Download (pdf, . 3 Mb) Donate Read. Epub FB2 mobi txt RTF. Converted file can differ from the original. If possible, download the file in its original format.

But, as The New Metaphysicals makes clear, contemporary American spirituality has .

But, as The New Metaphysicals makes clear, contemporary American spirituality has historic roots in the nineteenth century and a great deal in common with traditional religious movements. Courtney Bender is associate professor of religion at Columbia University and author of Heaven’s Kitchen: Living with Religion at God’s Love We Deliver, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination. But, as The New Metaphysicals makes clear, contemporary American spirituality has historic roots in the nineteenth century and a great deal i. .

According to scholar Courtney Bender, the percentage of the US population which says it believes in God but .

According to scholar Courtney Bender, the percentage of the US population which says it believes in God but does not have or chooses no religious preference has gone up 20% in the past 30 years. In the first few pages of the introduction to her book, New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination, Bender states that she was seeking to find out „how and where people became spiritual, not religious, and what kind of structures supported their narratives and practices (2010: 3).

American spirituality—with its focus on individual meaning, experience, and exploration—is usually thought to be a product of the postmodern era. But, as The New Metaphysicals makes clear, contemporary American spirituality has historic roots in the nineteenth century and a great deal in common with traditional religious movements. To explore this world, Courtney Bender combines research into the history of the movement with fieldwork in Cambridge, Massachusetts—a key site of alternative religious inquiry from Emerson and William James to today. Through her ethnographic analysis, Bender discovers that a focus on the new, on progress, and on the way spiritual beliefs intersect with science obscures the historical roots of spirituality from its practitioners and those who study it alike—and shape an enduring set of modern religious possibilities in the process.
Comments to eBook The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination
Maridor
I'm so biased that I held off on writing this review for a long time, but seeing no one else yet commenting I must say this book is really great and deserves to be discovered by more people! Sooner or later it will be I trust, and a factor for its slow discovery has just been the expensive university press that makes this not an easy candidate for store promotions or book group reading lists. And sure enough I'm biased too, because on one level it's largely about me and my extended circle of friends in Cambridge Massachusetts. We're mystics, spiritual misfits, and radical visionaries, and hey, how often do you get a Columbia sociologist to go native with your esoteric subculture, taking notes while making friends, hinting that it might become a book someday, until there it is years later! We were incredibly validated and respected by Courtney, who interestingly didn't tell us when our lives finally got published, feeling a bit sensitive for how we might react and figuring that if we really were tuned into the universe we'd find out for ourselves. Well sure enough, I did! Summer 2010 I was getting a big intuitive tap on the shoulder to integrate and share my past life discoveries more, thinking that I needed to be in print somewhere. Then googling I find wait, who is this guy Eric saying things I said, do I have a rival doppelganger?! Oh wait, that's me, Courtney picked a pseudonym and I'm already published! Talk about instant manifestation... and I always liked the name Eric!

But that's just the human interest level, which is handled candidly, cheerfully, and without a lot of ego or belief requirement. This book is satisfying and fun and fair to everyone in the genre of spiritual pop culture sharing, and still it goes far deeper to earn real academic merit. Courtney places our stories in the fullness of social context, for the evolution of New Thought and New Age values in America going back to classic roots in William James "Varieties of Religious Experience" and beyond. Our mystical experiences discussion group met at the Swedenborg Chapel in Harvard square in the shadow of Harvard's William James hall, so she recognized a beautiful conjunction of timeless influences in our existence and wrote intelligently from that place. In fact, few of my friends had ever heard of the complexity of antecedents for our subculture which this book examines, but I had because I'm a fan of such history and have long since extolled the virtues of America's long fascination with and development of progressive spirituality. The 19th century in greater New England was every bit as mind-blowing as what's going on today anywhere, from James' father Henry joining Ralph Waldo Emerson to import the teachings of the 18th century Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, to Andrew Jackson Davis saying the spirit of Swedenborg was along with Galen guiding him to become the godfather of Spiritualism and move from the Catskills to Cambridge, and the rise of movements as diverse as Theosophy, Christian Science, and Mormonism straining everyone's imagination. The US has been a hotbed of radical consciousness more than most people know for longer than they know, and yet it permeates our culture. When self-proclaimed rational types decry the surveyed majorities in this country that profess beliefs in angels or miracles or God, they have no concept of the stunning breadth and depth of philosophical movements that they are dismissing behind those simple surface statistics.

I'm not even a deep student of all this history either, being an intuitive appreciator who prizes books like Courtney's to educate me. "The New Metaphysicals" is right up there for me with great windows on the astounding under-appreciated contributions of the United States to the evolution of consciousness, like Eugene Taylor's "Shadow Culture: Psychology and Spirituality in America" and Mitch Horowitz's "Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped our Nation". That's why I'm saying this book is a must-read for a variety of audiences, from spiritual explorers to trend followers and setters to progressive sociologists and psychologists, and not just because I'm in it and my ego got tickled.

(Incidentally, my friends and I have come a long way since Courtney's interviews were done around 2002, and in no small part thanks to her respect at a key point in our lives. Our truths have only become more true, things we may have talked about tentatively in the book have become more solid and defined, and the diversity of spiritual evolution marches on. Courtney changed names and altered some details to take the focus off of us, but for example the past life I talked about has expanded into full confidence as I work now with reincarnation researcher Walter Semkiw. In short, things are cooking in your neighborhoods to envision a peaceful enlightened global society far beyond the usual headlines that may depress you for making humanity look stupid and violent, and a lot of our movements can be found on meetup.com these days, a grassroots networking website that has grown enormously since its humble roots in bringing together post-9/11 healing support groups.)
Tygralbine
Insightful and thorough, but suffers from cumbersome prose and Harvard boffin-ry.
Nten
Good condition--perfect!
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