American Gurus: From Transcendentalism to New Age Religion by Arthur Versluis

By Arthur Versluis

via the early twenty-first century, a phenomenon that after was once not possible had turn into approximately ordinary in American society: the general public non secular instructor who neither belongs to, neither is licensed via an important spiritual culture. From the Oprah Winfrey-endorsed Eckhart Tolle to figures like Gangaji and Adhyashanti, there at the moment are numerous religious academics who declare and train variations of speedy or speedy enlightenment.

American Gurus tells the tale of ways this phenomenon emerged. via an exam of the wider literary and non secular context of the topic, Arthur Versluis exhibits attribute function of the Western esoteric culture is the declare that each individual can in achieving "spontaneous, direct, unmediated non secular insight." This declare was once articulated with exact readability through the recent England Transcendentalists Bronson Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Versluis explores Transcendentalism, Walt Whitman, the Beat stream, Timothy Leary, and the recent Age circulate to make clear the emergence of the modern American guru.

This insightful learn is the 1st to teach how Asian religions and Western mysticism converged to supply the phenomenon of "spontaneously enlightened" American gurus.

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