By Robert S. Ellwood
Filenote: PDF is searchable snapshot ocr, 212 pages with Front/Back cover.
The explosive occasions of Jonestown and Koreagate have riveted the eyes of the USA at the burgeoning and principally misunderstood stream of latest non secular cults. Robert S. Elwood makes an attempt to additional our knowing of those occult, mystical and jap religious hobbies within the usa through putting them in a a distinctively American context, demonstrating that they're neither new or alien.
This compact quantity combines amazing volume of historic info with present interpretative theories approximately deepest pilgrimages and sectarian differentiation. the writer covers a variety of emergent, non-normative non secular kinds and notes that they've omprised myriad contributors, every one following related styles of private 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 continual and sundry culture of spiritual experimentation in America.... might be this book's maximum contribution is to make it very unlikely any more to disregard those religions as actual expressions of religious drawback which mainline church buildings try out vainly to demonize
-- Religion reviews Review
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Extra resources for Alternative Altars: Unconventional and Eastern Spirituality in America (Chicago History of American Religion)
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.
Innumerable non-Hindu Americans meditate in the Maharishi's manner or do yoga but very few non-Roman Catholics say the rosary, and very few synagogues have a regular plurality of nonJewish visitors. There is a good deal of dual or multiple membership, and even more of participation, in non-normative religious ferent — circles. This diffuse influence is no less important when it is only ex- tended through reading and involves no group participation Many clergymen have known parishioners who, at all.
Even the spiritual relation of only two people, master and disciple or two fellow seekers, is quite distinct from the subjectivity of a solitary soul, however expansive. The existence of any sort of group gives the experience a putative legitimation and a standing within the fabric of society as a whole which individual religion does not have in the same way; it may even be seen between legitimate religion and as the distinction madness.