Saturday, September 12, 2009

America The Occult

To Euros, America's psychotic relationship with religion is both baffling and frightening, with fundanuts that come across as no better than the "extremists" they pretend to chase around the world... and in their own country. Tarcher/Penguin's editor-in-chief Mitch Horowitz just published a book on the subject: Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation. Boing Boing took a peek at it, and it's not reassuring:

"To really grasp the religious development of our nation, its occult movements and believers must be understood for what they are: communities of belief, who left a profound impact on the culture of America and the modern world," says Horowitz about bis book.

"The robust growth of occult and mystical movements in nineteenth-century America -- aided by the influence of Freemasonry and Transcendentalism -- helped transform the young nation into a laboratory for religious experiment and a launching pad for the revolutions in alternative and New Age spirituality that eventually swept the globe. In the early twentieth century, the new spiritual therapies -- from meditation to mind-body healing to motivational thinking -- began revolutionizing how religion was understood in contemporary times: not only as a source of salvation but as a means of healing. In this sense, occult America had changed our world.
UPDATE: LAT on Politics as Religion in America

No comments: