The American Invention of Spirituality

Lecture Description

Examines the process by which so many Americans–from Transcendentalists to New Agers–came to see “spirituality” as the quintessence of religion. Crucial elements of this transformation include: a reinvention of “mysticism” apart from particular ecclesiastical traditions, a growing sympathy with religious cosmopolitanism, and a redefining of religion as solitary experience. The spiritual-but-not-religious label has now become a commonplace of social surveys and seeker self-description alike.


Religion Social and Cultural

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