9780226042794

The New Metaphysicals

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780226042794

  • ISBN10:

    0226042790

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-07-15
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Summary

American spiritualitywith its focus on individual meaning, experience, and explorationis usually thought to be a product of the postmodern era. But, asThe New Metaphysicalsmakes 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, Massachusettsa 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 alikeand shape an enduring set of modern religious possibilities in the process.

Author Biography

Courtney Bender is associate professor of religion at Columbia University and author of Heaven’s Kitchen: Living with Religion at God’s Love We Deliver, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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