Download Alternative Altars: Unconventional and Eastern Spirituality by Robert S. Ellwood PDF

By Robert S. Ellwood

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The explosive occasions of Jonestown and Koreagate have riveted the eyes of the US at the burgeoning and principally misunderstood move of up to date non secular cults. Robert S. Elwood makes an attempt to additional our knowing of those occult, mystical and jap religious hobbies within the usa through putting them in a a distinctively American context, demonstrating that they're neither new or alien.

This compact quantity combines notable quantity of old info with present interpretative theories approximately deepest pilgrimages and sectarian differentiation. the writer covers a variety of emergent, non-normative non secular varieties and notes that they have got omprised myriad members, each one following comparable styles of private excursus or quests for internal attention. After discussing the typical positive aspects of such religious festiveness, Ellwood highlights Shaker Spiritualism, Theosophy, and as illustrative of a continual and sundry culture of non secular experimentation in America.... maybe this book's maximum contribution is to make it most unlikely from now on to disregard those religions as real expressions of religious difficulty which mainline church buildings try out vainly to demonize
-- Religion reports Review

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

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Offers a model an paradigm of the excursus experience. It suggests an ultimate unity and many possible avenues of excursus toward it; its It also offers excellent human who intermediate figures are generally lords once advanced much further down the infinite way have — but who can turn back with a word of hope and a helping hand. The emphasis on creation is slight; the excursionist has instead in view an eternal, though perhaps evolving, world. Indeed, in our age of historical consciousness, he will probably see the internal transformation he has wrought through intellectual realization and the effect of the technique as the first fruits of a new age.

Excursus Religion 37 few reflections on the theoretical expression of excursus Almost by definition, it is a gnosis a wisdom which has of itself, when truly known and acted upon, a saving power, which was always true but known only to an elect and now is again Finally, a — religion. The revealed to those with ears to hear. gnosis concept correlates, of course, with the sociology of a small withdrawal group. Beyond this, the teachings are diverse, yet certain themes are widespread. Generally and we have an ultimate monism, but between world of toil and shadows this is intermediate polytheism: an assemblage of masters, dhas, gods, or archetypes who and who can reach down cosmology is, such societies it spread what might be called an give texture and spirits, color to the budOne, to guide pilgrims along the way.

Grid refers to the systems, classifications, which one brings order to experience, and so to cosmos. A social example of grid in practice is caste in India. Group and indicates the degree to which the group establishes its boundaries and constrains its members' identities. It indicates the extent to which one's place in the caste system inescapably shapes the contours of life. Every society has both grid and group forces, but their relative strengths vary considerably, prorefers to social pressure ducing not only very different types of human social life, different types of religious symbols to articulate divinity and transcendence to validate it.

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