By Robert S. Ellwood

ISBN-10: 0226206181

ISBN-13: 9780226206189

Filenote: PDF is searchable photograph ocr, 212 pages with Front/Back cover.

The explosive occasions of Jonestown and Koreagate have riveted the eyes of the United States at the burgeoning and mostly misunderstood circulation of up to date non secular cults. Robert S. Elwood makes an attempt to extra our realizing of those occult, mystical and jap non secular routine within the usa by way of putting them in a a distinctively American context, demonstrating that they're neither new or alien.

This compact quantity combines impressive quantity of ancient info with present interpretative theories approximately deepest pilgrimages and sectarian differentiation. the writer covers quite a lot of emergent, non-normative spiritual varieties and notes that they have got omprised myriad members, every one following comparable styles of private excursus or quests for internal recognition. After discussing the typical good points of such religious festiveness, Ellwood highlights Shaker Spiritualism, Theosophy, and as illustrative of a continual and sundry culture of non secular experimentation in America.... possibly this book's maximum contribution is to make it most unlikely any more to disregard those religions as actual expressions of religious difficulty which mainline church buildings test vainly to demonize
-- Religion experiences Review

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Additional info for Alternative Altars: Unconventional and Eastern Spirituality in America (Chicago History of American Religion)

Example text

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.

Whatever the contrast between established and emerit is not between that which changes and that which gent religion, Chapter 14 changes not, or which at a slower rate parallels the rise and 1 — the former can change conditions are right. Moreover, established religion sarily coextensive with 'culture' at a rate of new spiritual movements fall ' ' or "society" is when not neces- — a dominant church cenainly will affect different people or groups to very different and may touch important segments of the population very yet still be the most important religion of the society in the extents, little, sense of holding the "established" heritage.

May be spoken of in a "nar- row, technical, concentrated sense," a form which undercuts struc- and forms new groups; and there is a "wider form" of is diffuse and supports existing groups as well as deepening experience. ^^ If groups in the emergent tradition repretures mysticism that of Troeltschean mysticism, within sent reifications its forms, such as yoga or Zen, can be found a "narrow" specific and a "wider" or diffuse expression. A second important area of sociological interest is leadership.

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