A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of by Catherine L. Albanese

By Catherine L. Albanese

This path-breaking e-book tells the tale of yankee metaphysical faith extra absolutely than it has ever been informed sooner than, alongside the way in which considerably revising the landscape of yankee spiritual heritage. Catherine L. Albanese follows metaphysical traditions from Renaissance Europe to England after which the USA, the place they've got flourished from colonial days to the twenty-first century, mixing usually with African, local American, and different cultural elements.The publication follows evolving types of metaphysical faith, together with Freemasonry, early Mormonism, Universalism, and Transcendentalism—and such additional incarnations as Spiritualism, Theosophy, New notion, Christian technology, and reinvented models of Asian rules and practices. carrying on with into the 20th century and after, the publication exhibits  how the metaphysical combine has broadened to surround flying saucers job, channeling, and chakras within the  New Age movement—and a much wider new spirituality within the current. In its personal method, Albanese argues, American metaphysical faith has been as lively, persuasive, and influential because the evangelical culture that's extra usually the focal point of spiritual students’ cognizance. She makes the case that as a result of its combinative nature—its skill to include differing ideals and practices—metaphysical faith deals key insights into the background of all American religions.

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26 Often understood as the ancestor of modern chemistry, this last—along with astrological medicine—became widely linked to a developing Hermeticism, suggesting already the combinative ambience and enthusiasm for ‘‘science’’ that would characterize the metaphysical tradition in Europe and America. For the proponents of what became the ‘‘Hermetic art,’’ the Hermetic legacy, in fact, was science, but science of a higher sort, in which illumination was key. Faivre has noted that the earliest alchemical text we know—attributed to Robert of Chester as his Latin translation (Liber compositione alchemiae quem edidit Morienus Ro- European Legacies 33 manus) of an Arabic work in 1144 (but probably later)—credited Hermes with inventing the arts and sciences.

They help us get the story right in political and social terms as well as in religious ones. Part One Beginnings 1 European Legacies American metaphysics is a combinative venture with beginnings in numerous places and times. Some of its sources were products of the nineteenth century and—for twentieth-century and later versions—thereafter, but others arrived earlier. The oldest legacies were culturally available in certain forms on American shores in the seventeenth century, and it is these sources that had the first say on what became the tradition.

Reading between the lines of the Schipperges complaint, what emerges clearly is that the Paracelsists carried the thought of their master into a patently Hermetic and magical world in which healing concerns became increasingly metaphysicalized. In this new ‘‘Paracelsian’’ world, the body of matter became so impregnated by spirit that it reproduced not a direct contact with almighty Nature but instead the mediations that led on an upward path to mind and illuminated knowing . ’’ 34 If this was the case, as I think it was, then the changes in the Paracelsian world lead us to a new cultural manifestation bringing the Hermetic synthesis into further combinations and on into England and America.

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