Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality

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University of California Press, Sep 5, 2012 - Religion - 360 pages
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Yoga classes and Zen meditation, New-Age retreats and nature mysticism—all are part of an ongoing religious experimentation that has surprisingly deep roots in American history. Tracing out the country’s Transcendentalist and cosmopolitan religious impulses over the last two centuries, Restless Souls explores America’s abiding romance with spirituality as religion’s better half. Now in its second edition, including a new preface, Leigh Eric Schmidt's fascinating book provides a rich account of how this open-road spirituality developed in American culture in the first place as well as a sweeping survey of the liberal religious movements that touted it and ensured its continued vitality.

 

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Restless souls: the making of American spirituality

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The Religious Right has always had its silent counterpart: the Spiritual Left. In Restless Souls , Schmidt (religion, Princeton Univ.) offers a fascinating intellectual and cultural history of the ... Read full review

Contents

Spirituality in the Making
1
Mystic Club
25
Solitude
63
The Piety of the World
101
Meditation for Americans
143
Freedom and SelfSurrender
181
Seekers
227
Be Gentle with Yourself
269
Notes
291
Index
323
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About the author (2012)

Leigh Eric Schmidt is Edward C. Mallinckrodt University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of numerous books,
including Heaven’s Bride: The Unprintable Life of Ida C. Craddock, American Mystic, Scholar, Sexologist, Martyr, and Madwoman, Hearing
Things: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment
, and Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays.

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