A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of by Catherine L. Albanese

By Catherine L. Albanese

This path-breaking booklet tells the tale of yank metaphysical faith extra totally than it has ever been advised earlier than, alongside the best way considerably revising the landscape of yankee spiritual background. Catherine L. Albanese follows metaphysical traditions from Renaissance Europe to England after which the United States, the place they've got flourished from colonial days to the twenty-first century, mixing frequently with African, local American, and different cultural elements.
The booklet follows evolving types of metaphysical faith, together with Freemasonry, early Mormonism, Universalism, and Transcendentalism—and such extra incarnations as Spiritualism, Theosophy, New concept, Christian technology, and reinvented types of Asian principles and practices. carrying on with into the 20th century and after, the ebook exhibits  how the metaphysical combine has broadened to surround alien ship task, channeling, and chakras within the  New Age movement—and a much wider new spirituality within the current. In its personal method, Albanese argues, American metaphysical faith has been as full of life, persuasive, and influential because the evangelical culture that's extra frequently the point of interest of spiritual students’ awareness. She makes the case that as a result of its combinative nature—its skill to include differing ideals and practices—metaphysical faith deals key insights into the heritage of all American religions.

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Extra info for A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion

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The second follows this learned tradition as it got refracted further through English materials. Finally, the third pays particular attention to Continental and English vernacular culture, moving beyond high culture to tease out a commonality of metaphysical belief and practice shared broadly through different strata of culture. LI T ER AT URE A ND PRACT ICE ON THE CON TINEN T hermes of the south In 1460 or thereabouts, the story goes, one Leonardo da Pistoia, a monk employed to collect manuscripts for Cosimo de’ Medici—that scion of the wealthy banking family who was effective ruler of Florence—arrived in the city from Macedonia with a Greek manuscript.

In the fragment that is Discourse XVII, for example, the Hermetic utterance takes on new meaning: ‘‘There are reflections of the incorporeals in corporeals and of corporeals in incorporeals—from the sensible to the intelligible cosmos, that is from the intelligible to the sensible. ’’ And in Discourse XVI, we learn more about the demons whose energies humans might implant in the statues. The demons, we are told with astrological erudition, ‘‘follow the orders of a particular star, and they are good and evil according to their natures—their energies, that is.

It does not aim to cover all Asian religion in the United States—certainly not that of the Asian immigrants themselves nor that of Asian traditions, like forms of Buddhism, that acculturated to their new locale without being absorbed under the metaphysical rubric. The last chapter, ‘‘New Ages for All,’’ follows the diffusion of metaphysical religion into the present in a series of different cultural practices and sites. Finally, ‘‘Coda: The New New Age’’ charts the early and later New Age movement and suggests what befell it.

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