The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination

University of Chicago Press
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American spirituality—with its focus on individual meaning, experience, and exploration—is usually thought to be a product of the postmodern era. But, as The New Metaphysicals makes 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, Massachusetts—a 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 alike—and shape an enduring set of modern religious possibilities in the process.
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About the author

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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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Jul 15, 2010
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780226043173
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / General
Religion / Spirituality
Social Science / General
Social Science / Sociology of Religion
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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