The American Soul Rush

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The American Soul Rush

The American Soul Rush Pdf/ePub eBook Author: ,
Editor: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814732909
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The American Soul Rush by , Summary

Yoga. Humanistic Psychology. Meditation. Holistic Healing. These practices are commonplace today. Yet before the early 1960s they were atypical options for most people outside of the upper class or small groups of educated spiritual seekers. Esalen Institute, a retreat for spiritual and personal growth in Big Sur, California, played a pioneering role in popularizing quests for self-transformation and personalized spirituality. This “soul rush” spread quickly throughout the United States as the Institute made ordinary people aware of hundreds of ways to select, combine, and revise their beliefs about the sacred and to explore diverse mystical experiences. Millions of Americans now identify themselves as spiritual, not religious, because Esalen paved the way for them to explore spirituality without affiliating with established denominations The American Soul Rush explores the concept of spiritual privilege and Esalen’s foundational influence on the growth and spread of diverse spiritual practices that affirm individuals’ self-worth and possibilities for positive personal change. The book also describes the people, narratives, and relationships at the Institute that produced persistent, almost accidental inequalities in order to illuminate the ways that gender is central to religion and spirituality in most contexts.

Selfie

Selfie Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Will Storr
Editor: Abrams
ISBN: 1468315900
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Selfie by Will Storr Summary

“An intriguing odyssey” though the history of the self and the rise of narcissism (The New York Times). Self-absorption, perfectionism, personal branding—it wasn’t always like this, but it’s always been a part of us. Why is the urge to look at ourselves so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell—especially since it doesn’t necessarily make us better or happier people? Full of unexpected connections among history, psychology, economics, neuroscience, and more, Selfie is a “terrific” book that makes sense of who we have become (NPR’s On Point). Award-winning journalist Will Storr takes us from ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of the “selfie generation,” and the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now, telling the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately—because it’s us. “It’s easy to look at Instagram and selfie-sticks and shake our heads at millennial narcissism. But Will Storr takes a longer view. He ignores the easy targets and instead tells the amazing 2,500-year story of how we’ve come to think about our selves. A top-notch journalist, historian, essayist, and sleuth, Storr has written an essential book for understanding, and coping with, the 21st century.” —Nathan Hill, New York Times-bestselling author of The Nix “This fascinating psychological and social history . . . reveals how biology and culture conspire to keep us striving for perfection, and the devastating toll that can take.”—The Washington Post “Ably synthesizes centuries of attitudes and beliefs about selfhood, from Aristotle, John Calvin, and Freud to Sartre, Ayn Rand, and Steve Jobs.” —USA Today “Eminently suitable for readers of both Yuval Noah Harari and Daniel Kahneman, Selfie also has shades of Jon Ronson in its subversive humor and investigative spirit.” —Bookseller “Storr is an electrifying analyst of Internet culture.” —Financial Times “Continually delivers rich insights . . . captivating.” —Kirkus Reviews

The Spiritual Virtuoso

The Spiritual Virtuoso Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Marion Goldman,Steven Pfaff
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1474292429
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The Spiritual Virtuoso by Marion Goldman,Steven Pfaff Summary

Marion Goldman and Steven Pfaff define a spiritual virtuoso as someone who works toward personal purification and a sense of holiness with the same perseverance and intensity that virtuosi strive to excel in the arts or athletics. Since the Protestant Reformation, activist virtuosi have come together in large and small social movements to redefine the meanings of spiritual practice, support religious equality, and transform a wide range of social institutions. Tracing the impact of spiritual virtuosi from the sixteenth century Reformation through the nineteenth-century Anti-Slavery Movement to the twentieth-century Human Potential Movement and beyond, Marion Goldman and Steven Pfaff explore how personal virtuosity can become a social force. Martin Luther began to expand spiritual possibilities in the West when he charted paths that did not require the Church's intercession between the individual and God. He believed that everyone could and should reach toward sacred truths and transcendent moments. Over the centuries, millions of people have built on his innovations and embarked on spiritual quests that offer new possibilities for sacred relationships and social change.

The Point Is

The Point Is Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Lee Eisenberg
Editor: Twelve
ISBN: 1455550477
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The Point Is by Lee Eisenberg Summary

In this engaging and provocative new book, Lee Eisenberg, bestselling author of The Number, dares to tackle nothing less than what it takes to find enduring meaning and purpose in life. He explains how from a young age, each of us is compelled to take memories of events and relationships and shape them into a one-of-a-kind personal narrative. In addition to sharing his own pivotal memories (some of them moving, some just a shade embarrassing), Eisenberg presents striking research culled from psychology and neuroscience, and draws on insights from a pantheon of thinkers and great writers-Tolstoy, Freud, Joseph Campbell, Virginia Woolf, among others. We also hear from men and women of all ages who are wrestling with the demands of work and family, ever in search of fulfillment and satisfaction. It all adds up to a fascinating story, delightfully told, one that goes straight to the heart of how we explain ourselves to ourselves-in other words, who we are and why.

The Changing World Religion Map

The Changing World Religion Map Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Stanley D. Brunn
Editor: Springer
ISBN: 940179376X
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The Changing World Religion Map by Stanley D. Brunn Summary

This extensive work explores the changing world of religions, faiths and practices. It discusses a broad range of issues and phenomena that are related to religion, including nature, ethics, secularization, gender and identity. Broadening the context, it studies the interrelation between religion and other fields, including education, business, economics and law. The book presents a vast array of examples to illustrate the changes that have taken place and have led to a new world map of religions. Beginning with an introduction of the concept of the “changing world religion map”, the book first focuses on nature, ethics and the environment. It examines humankind’s eternal search for the sacred, and discusses the emergence of “green” religion as a theme that cuts across many faiths. Next, the book turns to the theme of the pilgrimage, illustrated by many examples from all parts of the world. In its discussion of the interrelation between religion and education, it looks at the role of missionary movements. It explains the relationship between religion, business, economics and law by means of a discussion of legal and moral frameworks, and the financial and business issues of religious organizations. The next part of the book explores the many “new faces” that are part of the religious landscape and culture of the Global North (Europe, Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the U.S. and Canada) and the Global South (Latin America, Africa and Asia). It does so by looking at specific population movements, diasporas, and the impact of globalization. The volume next turns to secularization as both a phenomenon occurring in the Global religious North, and as an emerging and distinguishing feature in the metropolitan, cosmopolitan and gateway cities and regions in the Global South. The final part of the book explores the changing world of religion in regards to gender and identity issues, the political/religious nexus, and the new worlds associated with the virtual technologies and visual media.

Break On Through

Break On Through Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Lucas Richert
Editor: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262354497
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Break On Through by Lucas Richert Summary

“Antipsychiatry,” Esalen, psychedelics, and DSM III: Radical challenges to psychiatry and the conventional treatment of mental health in the 1970s. The upheavals of the 1960s gave way to a decade of disruptions in the 1970s, and among the rattled fixtures of American society was mainstream psychiatry. A “Radical Caucus” formed within the psychiatric profession and the “antipsychiatry” movement arose. Critics charged that the mental health establishment was complicit with the military-industrial complex, patients were released from mental institutions, and powerful antipsychotic drugs became available. Meanwhile, practitioners and patients experimented with new approaches to mental health, from primal screaming and the therapeutic use of psychedelics to a new reliance on quantification. In Break on Through, Lucas Richert investigates the radical challenges to psychiatry and to the conventional treatment of mental health that emerged in the 1970s and the lessons they offer for current debates. Drawing on archives and government documents, medical journals, and interviews, and interweaving references to pop (counter)culture into his account, Richert offers fascinating stories of the decade's radical mental health practices. He discusses anti–Vietnam War activism and the new diagnosis of post–traumatic stress disorder given to some veterans; the radical psychiatrists who fought the system (and each other); the entry of New Age–style therapies, including Esalen's Human Potential Movement, into the laissez-faire therapeutic marketplace of the 1970s; the development of DSM III; and the use of LSD, cannabis, and MDMA. Many of these issues have resonance today. Debates over medical marijuana and microdoses of psychedelics echo debates of the 1970s. With rising rates of such disorders as anxiety and depression, practitioners and patients continue to search for therapeutic breakthroughs.

Minority Religions and Fraud

Minority Religions and Fraud Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 1317095731
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Minority Religions and Fraud by Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist Summary

Analysing both fraud and religion as social constructs with different functions and meanings attributed to them, this book raises issues that are central to debates about the limits of religious toleration in diverse societies, and the possible harm (as well as benefits) that religious organisations can visit upon society and individuals. There has already been a lively debate concerning the structural context in which abuse, especially sexual abuse, can be perpetrated within religion. Contributors to the volume proceed from the premise that similar arguments about ways in which structure and power may be conducive to abuse can be made about fraud and deception. Both can contribute to abuse, yet they are often less easily demonstrated and proven, hence less easily prosecuted. With a focus on minority religions, the book offers a comparative overview of the concept of religious fraud by bringing together analyses of different types of fraud or deception (financial, bio-medical, emotional, breach of trust and consent). Contributors examine whether fraud is necessarily intentional (or whether that is in the eye of the beholder); certain structures may be more conducive to fraud; followers willingly participate in it. The volume includes some chapters focused on non-Western beliefs (Juju, Occult Economies, Dharma Lineage), which have travelled to the West and can be found in North American and European metropolitan areas.

Camp TV

Camp TV Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Quinlan Miller
Editor: Duke University Press
ISBN: 1478003391
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Camp TV by Quinlan Miller Summary

Sitcoms of the 1950s and 1960s are widely considered conformist in their depictions of gender roles and sexual attitudes. In Camp TV Quinlan Miller offers a new account of the history of American television that explains what campy meant in practical sitcom terms in shows as iconic as The Dick Van Dyke Show as well as in more obscure fare, such as The Ugliest Girl in Town. Situating his analysis within the era's shifts in the television industry and the coalescence of straightness and whiteness that came with the decline of vaudevillian camp, Miller shows how the sitcoms of this era overflowed with important queer representation and gender nonconformity. Whether through regular supporting performances (Ann B. Davis's Schultzy in The Bob Cummings Show), guest appearances by Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly, or scripted dialogue and situations, industry processes of casting and production routinely esteemed a camp aesthetic that renders all gender expression queer. By charting this unexpected history, Miller offers new ways of exploring how supposedly repressive popular media incubated queer, genderqueer, and transgender representations.

Choosing Our Religion

Choosing Our Religion Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Elizabeth Drescher
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199341230
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Choosing Our Religion by Elizabeth Drescher Summary

To the dismay of religious leaders, study after study has shown a steady decline in affiliation and identification with traditional religions in America. By 2014, more than twenty percent of adults identified as unaffiliated--up more than seven percent just since 2007. Even more startling, more than thirty percent of those under the age of thirty now identify as "Nones"--answering "none" when queried about their religious affiliation. Is America losing its religion? Or, as more and more Americans choose different spiritual paths, are they changing what it means to be religious in the United States today? In Choosing Our Religion, Elizabeth Drescher explores the diverse, complex spiritual lives of Nones across generations and across categories of self-identification such as "Spiritual-But-Not-Religious," "Atheist," "Agnostic," "Humanist," "just Spiritual," and more. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews conducted across the United States, Drescher opens a window into the lives of a broad cross-section of Nones, diverse with respect to age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and prior religious background. She allows Nones to speak eloquently for themselves, illuminating the processes by which they became None, the sources of information and inspiration that enrich their spiritual lives, the practices they find spiritually meaningful, how prayer functions in spiritual lives not centered on doctrinal belief, how morals and values are shaped outside of institutional religions, and how Nones approach the spiritual development of their own children. These compelling stories are deeply revealing about how religion is changing in America--both for Nones and for the religiously affiliated family, friends, and neighbors with whom their lives remain intertwined.

Fields of Knowledge

Fields of Knowledge Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Scott Frickel,David J. Hess
Editor: Emerald Group Publishing
ISBN: 1783506679
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Fields of Knowledge by Scott Frickel,David J. Hess Summary

This issue of Political Power and Social Theory explores the changes in science associated with the rise of neoliberalism since the 1970s. The collected papers together chart an important theoretical agenda for future research in the study of sciencesociety relations in the contemporary era.

Psychedelic Mysticism

Psychedelic Mysticism Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Morgan Shipley
Editor: Lexington Books
ISBN: 149850910X
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Psychedelic Mysticism by Morgan Shipley Summary

Although commonly celebrated as a distinct manifestation of Americana, hippies and psychedelics are routinely de-emphasized in favor of direct political activism, a phenomenon that constrains the full telling of the hippie counterculture as it relates to a radical religiosity defined by mutuality and altruism. Psychedelic Mysticism reevaluates the religious significance of the 1960s psychedelic counterculture, tracing how psychedelics became entheogenic, leading sixties figures to transition personal moments of enlightenment into everyday projects of social justice.

A Historical Introduction to the Study of New Religious Movements

A Historical Introduction to the Study of New Religious Movements Pdf/ePub eBook Author: W. Michael Ashcraft
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 1351670832
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A Historical Introduction to the Study of New Religious Movements by W. Michael Ashcraft Summary

The American public’s perception of New Religious Movements (NRMs) as fundamentally harmful cults stems from the "anticult" movement of the 1970s, which gave a sometimes hysterical and often distorted image of NRMs to the media. At the same time, academics pioneered a new field, studying these same NRMs from sociological and historical perspectives. They offered an interpretation that ran counter to that of the anticult movement. For these scholars in the new field of NRM studies, NRMs were legitimate religions deserving of those freedoms granted to established religions. Those scholars in NRM studies continued to evolve methods and theories to study NRMs. This book tells their story. Each chapter begins with a biography of a key person involved in studying NRMs. The narrative unfolds chronologically, beginning with late nineteenth- and early-twentieth century perceptions of religions alternative to the mainstream. Then the focus shifts to those early efforts, in the 1960s and 1970s, to comprehend the growing phenomena of cults or NRMs using the tools of academic disciplines. The book’s midpoint is a chapter that looks closely at the scholarship of the anticult movement, and from there moves forward in time to the present, highlighting themes in the study of NRMs like violence, gender, and reflexive ethnography. No other book has used the scholars of NRMs as the focus for a study in this way. The material in this volume is, therefore, a fascinating viewpoint from which to explore the origins of this vibrant academic community, as well as analyse the practice of Religious Studies more generally.

Contemplative Literature

Contemplative Literature Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Louis Komjathy
Editor: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438457073
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Contemplative Literature by Louis Komjathy Summary

An anthology of primary texts on meditation and contemplative prayer from a wide range of religious traditions. This is the first theoretically informed and historically accurate comparative anthology of primary texts on meditation and contemplative prayer. Written by international experts on the respective texts and corresponding traditions, Contemplative Literature provides introductions to and primary sources on contemplative practice from various religious traditions. The contributors explore classical Daoist apophatic meditation, Quaker silent prayer, Jewish Kabbalah, Southern Buddhist meditation, Sufi contemplation, Eastern Orthodox prayer, Pure Land Buddhist visualization, Hindu classical Yoga, Dominican Catholic prayer, Daoist internal alchemy, and modern therapeutic meditation. Each introduction to a contemplative text discusses its historical context, the associated religious tradition and literature, the method of contemplative practice, and the text’s legacy and influence. Volume editor Louis Komjathy opens the work with a thoughtful consideration of interpretive issues in the emerging interdisciplinary field of contemplative studies. Readers will gain not only a nuanced understanding of important works of contemplative literature, but also resources for understanding contemplative practice and contemplative experience from a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. “We have not seen anything this bold and this global since Friedrich Heiler wrote his classic study on the typology of prayer over eighty years ago. Komjathy and his essayists have vastly expanded the scope, depth, and sophistication of this project here. In the process, they have struggled with all of the critical questions around religious pluralism, tradition, and religious authority, and have emboldened the comparative project itself. Contemplation and comparison, it turns out, go very well together.” — Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Comparing Religions: Coming to Terms “Teachers and scholars, undergraduate and graduate students, and general readers interested in contemplative practice will cherish a book like this. I’m happy that Louis Komjathy has done this great work. It will undoubtedly be hailed as a milestone.” — Ruben L. F. Habito, author of Healing Breath: Zen for Christians and Buddhists in a Wounded World

Pioneering Health in London, 1935-2000

Pioneering Health in London, 1935-2000 Pdf/ePub eBook Author: David Kuchenbuch
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 1351757741
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Pioneering Health in London, 1935-2000 by David Kuchenbuch Summary

The Peckham Experiment, conducted between 1935 and 1950 in the London Pioneer Health Centre, was one of the most talked-about social experiments of the 20th century. Families from the South London neighbourhood of Peckham were invited to use the facilities of a radiantly modern building. They were encouraged to freely choose and organize their leisure activities, taking advantage of a swimming pool, a gymnasium, and a self-service cafeteria. In doing so, both their health status and interaction with other members of the nascent centre-community were closely observed by a team of physicians. The first research monograph on the history of the experiment building on archival sources, this book combines a micro-historical perspective with methods from the history of science. It shows how bio-medical holism and evolutionary theories typical of the interwar years informed research on social life in the centre. But it also reveals that the "guinea pigs", too, were trying to make sense of the research they were taking part in. The outcome was an ambiguous social laboratory that generated new insights into the power of social groups to self-organize, which were soon discussed all over the world – and continue to haunt British political debates today.

Controversial New Religions

Controversial New Religions Pdf/ePub eBook Author: James R. Lewis,Jesper Aa. Petersen
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199394369
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Controversial New Religions by James R. Lewis,Jesper Aa. Petersen Summary

In terms of public opinion, new religious movements are considered controversial for a variety of reasons. Their social organization often runs counter to popular expectations by experimenting with communal living, alternative leadership roles, unusual economic dispositions, and new political and ethical values. As a result the general public views new religions with a mixture of curiosity, amusement, and anxiety, sustained by lavish media emphasis on oddness and tragedy rather than familiarity and lived experience. This updated and revised second edition of Controversial New Religions offers a scholarly, dispassionate look at those groups that have generated the most attention, including some very well-known classical groups like The Family, Unification Church, Scientology, and Jim Jones's People's Temple; some relative newcomers such as the Kabbalah Centre, the Order of the Solar Temple, Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate, and the Falun Gong; and some interesting cases like contemporary Satanism, the Raelians, Black nationalism, and various Pagan groups. Each essay combines an overview of the history and beliefs of each organization or movement with original and insightful analysis. By presenting decades of scholarly work on new religious movements written in an accessible form by established scholars as well as younger experts in the field, this book will be an invaluable resource for all those who seek a view of new religions that is deeper than what can be found in sensationalistic media stories.

Limiting Outer Space

Limiting Outer Space Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Alexander C.T. Geppert
Editor: Springer
ISBN: 1137369167
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Limiting Outer Space by Alexander C.T. Geppert Summary

Limiting Outer Space propels the historicization of outer space by focusing on the Post-Apollo period. After the moon landings, disillusionment set in. Outer space, no longer considered the inevitable destination of human expansion, lost much of its popular appeal, cultural significance and political urgency. With the rapid waning of the worldwide Apollo frenzy, the optimism of the Space Age gave way to an era of space fatigue and planetized limits. Bringing together the history of European astroculture and American-Soviet spaceflight with scholarship on the 1970s, this cutting-edge volume examines the reconfiguration of space imaginaries from a multiplicity of disciplinary perspectives. Rather than invoking oft-repeated narratives of Cold War rivalry and an escalating Space Race, Limiting Outer Space breaks new ground by exploring a hitherto underrated and understudied decade, the Post-Apollo period.

Introducing Contemplative Studies

Introducing Contemplative Studies Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Louis Komjathy
Editor: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119156726
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Introducing Contemplative Studies by Louis Komjathy Summary

The first book-length introduction to an exciting new interdisciplinary field—written by an internationally recognized leader of the Contemplative Studies movement This is the first book-length introduction to a growing and influential interdisciplinary field focused on contemplative practice, contemplative experience, and contemplative pedagogy. Written by an internationally recognized leader in the area, Introducing Contemplative Studies seeks to provide readers with a deep and practical understanding of the nature and purpose of the field while encouraging them to find a place of their own in an increasingly widespread movement. At once comprehensive overview, critical reflection, and visionary proposal, the book explores the central approaches and issues in Contemplative Studies, tackles questions and problems that sometimes go unaddressed, and identifies promising new developments. The author also discusses contemplative pedagogy, an experiential approach to teaching and learning informed by and expressed as contemplative practice. This is a major introduction to a fast emerging interdisciplinary field that will be invaluable to those interested in the area. The only comprehensive introduction to the emerging, interdisciplinary field of Contemplative Studies Written by a distinguished leader in the Contemplative Studies movement who is founding Co-Chair of the Contemplative Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion Informed by ten years of research and practice, the book explores the field’s varied approaches and expressions Offers critical reviews of trends which will create discussions both within and outside the Contemplative Studies Liberally illustrated with both images and charts Introducing Contemplative Studies is a must-read for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, teachers and scholars in Contemplative Studies, as well as anyone who is curious about contemplative practice, meditation, contemplative experience, contemplative pedagogy, contemplative science, and, of course, the exciting field of Contemplative Studies generally.

Contemporary Spiritualities

Contemporary Spiritualities Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Stefania Palmisano,Nicola Pannofino
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 0429672578
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Contemporary Spiritualities by Stefania Palmisano,Nicola Pannofino Summary

Contemporary alternative spirituality, as studied by sociologists, is usually seen as a recent phenomenon dating from the 1960s and 1970s. However, when viewed from a longer-term perspective this form of religious expression is actually seen to reintroduce concepts that recur throughout Western cultural history. This book argues, therefore, that spirituality in the 21st Century actually shares many of the same characteristics as Classical, Mediaeval, Renaissance and Modern spiritualities. It is neither entirely new, nor is it clearly alternative to more established religions. The book is divided into two parts. The first sets out the context in which contemporary alternative spirituality has formed, charting its development as an academic term and a social phenomenon. The second part looks at how these two elements have developed in countries that are historically Catholic, focussing on specific examples in contemporary Italy: spiritualities based on the sacralisation of nature; those concerned with health and wellbeing; and those which are fascinated by mystery.Catholic majority countries are particularly interesting in this instance, as the Catholic Church has a unique cultural hegemony with which to compare alternative spiritual practices. It concludes that spirituality, if framed in a longer historical perspective, is a way of acting and seeing the world which was built, and continues to be built upon complex relations with various contradictory sources of authority, such as religion, magic thinking, secularism, rationalism, various spheres of lay culture. This is a bold take on the spirituality milieu and as such will be of great interest to scholars of Religious Studies working on the sociology of religion, contemporary spirituality and the rise of the "spiritual but not religious".

Rewriting the American Soul

Rewriting the American Soul Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Anna Thiemann
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 1351846965
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Rewriting the American Soul by Anna Thiemann Summary

Rewriting the American Soul focuses on the political implications of psychoanalytic and neurocognitive approaches to trauma in literature, their impact on cultural representations of collective trauma in the United States, and their subversive appropriation in pre- and post-9/11 fiction. Anna Thiemann connects cutting edge trauma theory with the historical context from which it emerged and shows that contemporary novels encourage us to reflect critically on the cultural meanings and political uses of trauma. In doing so, it contributes to a new generation of trauma scholarship that challenges the dominant paradigm in literary and cultural studies. Moreover, the book intervenes in current debates about the relationship between literature and neuroscience insisting that the so-called neuronovel scrutinizes scientific developments and their political ramifications rather than adopting and translating them into aesthetic practices.

Sociological Theory and the Question of Religion

Sociological Theory and the Question of Religion Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Andrew McKinnon,Marta Trzebiatowska
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 131705301X
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Sociological Theory and the Question of Religion by Andrew McKinnon,Marta Trzebiatowska Summary

Religion lies near the heart of the classical sociological tradition, yet it no longer occupies the same place within the contemporary sociological enterprise. This relative absence has left sociology under-prepared for thinking about religion’s continuing importance in new issues, movements, and events in the twenty-first century. This book seeks to address this lacunae by offering a variety of theoretical perspectives on the study of religion that bridge the gap between mainstream concerns of sociologists and the sociology of religion. Following an assessment of the current state of the field, the authors develop an emerging critical perspective within the sociology of religion with particular focus on the importance of historical background. Re-assessing the themes of aesthetics, listening and different degrees of spiritual self-discipline, the authors draw on ethnographic studies of religious involvement in Norway and the UK. They highlight the importance of power in the sociology of religion with help from Pierre Bourdieu, Marx and Critical Discourse Analysis. This book points to emerging currents in the field and offers a productive and lively way forward, not just for sociological theory of religion, but for the sociology of religion more generally.