The new metaphysicals

by Courtney Bender.
 
Citation
Title:
The new metaphysicals
Author:
Courtney Bender.
Editor:
City:
Publisher:
The University of Chicago Press
Year:
2010
Volume:
No. of Volumes:
Edition:
Pages:
Series Volume:
Series Editor:
Series Title:
Translator:
Language:
English
URL:
DOI:
LCCN:
2009033208
OCLC Number:
License
Select License
ISBN:
0226042804
Last Updated:
August 2nd, 2011
Abstract

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.


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