American Feminism and the Birth of New Age Spirituality: by Catherine Tumber

By Catherine Tumber

Opposite to renowned suggestion, New Age spirituality didn't all at once seem in American lifestyles within the Nineteen Seventies and '80s. In American Feminism and the start of latest Age Spirituality, Catherine Tumber demonstrates that the hot Age circulate first flourished greater than a century in the past in the course of the Gilded Age lower than the mantle of 'New Thought.'

Based principally on study in renowned journals, self-help manuals, newspaper bills, and archival collections, American Feminism and the beginning of latest Age Spirituality explores the contours of the recent notion move. during the lives of famous figures equivalent to Mary Baker Eddy, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and Edward Bellamy in addition to via extra vague, yet extra consultant 'New Thoughters' equivalent to Abby Morton Diaz, Emma Curtis Hopkins, Ursula Gestefeld, Lilian Whiting, Sarah Farmer, and Elizabeth Towne, Tumber examines the ancient stipulations that gave upward thrust to New notion. She will pay shut realization to the ways that feminism turned grafted, with various levels of good fortune, to emergent kinds of liberal tradition within the overdue 19th century―progressive politics, the Social Gospel, humanist psychotherapy, bohemian way of life, and mass industry journalism.

American Feminism and the beginning of latest Age Spirituality questions the price of the hot age movement―then and now―to the pursuit of women's rights and democratic renewal.

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16. Paul A. Carter, The Spiritual Crisis of the Gilded Age (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1 97 1 ). 1 7. : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1 985); Joseph Haroutunian, The Passing of the New England Theology (New York: Harper and Row, 1970); and Ann Douglas, The Feminization of American Culture (New York: Avon, 1977). 1 8. Henry Ward Beecher, "Statement Before the Congregational Association of New York and Brooklyn" (New York, 1882): 13. 1 9. D. , Yale University, 1 992 ), published as Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1 875-1 920 (Berke­ ley: University of California Press, 1 999).

Mind 1 4 (Septem­ ber 1904 ): 2 66 69. - 1 7. : Yale University Press, 1982), 153-90. The classifi­ cation of nineteenth-century religious experience into "moralist" and "devotionalist" is drawn from Rabinowitz, Spiritual Self. Although Rabinowitz is accurate about the outlines, his interest in establishing the social origins of religious experience can lead to caricature, especially in his treatment of devotionalism. Because he caricatures the culture of the "genteel tradition," he sees the part devotionalism played in the Vic­ torian world of liberal sociability and private life as a form of escape from "empty rit­ ual" ( 237).

Chapter One self, such as seances, thought transference, and other forms of occult display. Regarding the spiritual realm as the exclusive source of all meaning, theosophists saw movement in its direction as the key to moral development. Led over the ages by "adepts," theosophists claimed, spiritually developed persons had learned to use the power of the human mind to tap into the "as­ tral light" that formed the elementary basis of spiritual reality. " The existence of a higher spiritual reality was therefore evidenced not only in the exercise of occult phenomena but also in the hu­ man capacity for love and self-sacrifice.

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