Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Thoeosophy to the New Age

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BRILL, Jan 1, 2001 - Religion - 547 pages
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This volume deals with the transformation of religious creativity in the late modern West. Its point of departure is a set of esoteric beliefs, from Theosophy to the New Age. It shows how these traditions have adapted to the cultural givens of each successive epoch. The claims of each movement have been buttressed by drawing on various structural characteristics of late modernity. The advance of science has resulted in attempts to claim scientific status for religious beliefs. Globalization has given rise to massive loans from other cultures, but also to various strategies to radically reinterpret foreign elements. Individualism has led to an increasing reliance on experience as a source of legitimacy. The analytical tools applied to understanding religious modernization shed light on changes that are fundamentally reshaping many religious traditions. This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
SOME THEORETICAL PRELIMINARIES
27
The Choice of Positions and Texts
80
Some Significant Others of Esoteric Historiography
98
Constructing a Tradition
155
Structurally Radical
198
SCIENTISM AS A LANGUAGE OF FAITH
201
Modes of Scientism
236
The Recipient of Wisdom
401
Handling Contradiction
412
The Explicit Epistemology of Rudolf Steiner
419
Doityourself Channeling
427
Experiencing What We Already Know
434
Elements of the Self as Experience Cues
440
REINCARNATION
455
CODA
495

Scientism and Esoteric Evolutionism
253
Scientific Miracles and the Creolization
303
NARRATIVES OF EXPERIENCE
331
Privileged Experience
369
The Source of Wisdom
379
The Nature of the Channeled Messages
393

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About the author (2001)

Olav Hammer, Ph.D. (2000) in History of Religions, Lund (Sweden), is Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. He has published extensively, mainly in Swedish, on the New Age and on contemporary Western esotericism.