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By Catherine L. Albanese

This path-breaking e-book tells the tale of yank metaphysical faith extra absolutely than it has ever been instructed ahead of, alongside the way in which considerably revising the landscape of yank spiritual historical past. Catherine L. Albanese follows metaphysical traditions from Renaissance Europe to England after which the US, the place they've got flourished from colonial days to the twenty-first century, mixing frequently with African, local American, and different cultural elements.The ebook follows evolving types of metaphysical faith, together with Freemasonry, early Mormonism, Universalism, and Transcendentalism—and such additional incarnations as Spiritualism, Theosophy, New concept, Christian technological know-how, and reinvented models of Asian rules and practices. carrying on with into the 20th century and after, the booklet indicates  how the metaphysical combine has broadened to surround alien craft job, channeling, and chakras within the  New Age movement—and a wider new spirituality within the current. In its personal approach, Albanese argues, American metaphysical faith has been as energetic, persuasive, and influential because the evangelical culture that's extra usually the focal point of spiritual students’ recognition. She makes the case that due to its combinative nature—its skill to include differing ideals and practices—metaphysical faith deals key insights into the heritage of all American religions.

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If so, here was a template upon which later Europeans and, in turn, Americans could manufacture their own versions of the spiritual quest and determine how, metaphysically, they could advance it. 23 In this context, the Hermetic tradition itself came with all sorts of accompaniments trailing. It became a catch-all for an evolving metaphysical brand of spirituality, which as time passed included a series of ancient and more modern theoretical components with, as their corollaries, programs of imaginative action.

Nor is this circumstance surprising. It is clear from the first that the Paracelsian tradition employed the name of the master as a catchword for a series of evolving metaphysical views that reached well beyond the actual work of Paracelsus. In fact, medical historian Heinrich Schipperges in a revisionist vein has complained strenuously of a ‘‘distortion of Paracelsus in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,’’ marking strong disparities between the concrete and nature-based spirituality of the Corpus Paracelsicum and that of later disciples of the renowned physician.

Significantly, the human role was thereby enhanced, as Andrew Weeks has noted: ‘‘The motif of omnes in omnibus [all in all] is complemented by the motif of hierarchy. The higher world communicates itself to the lower by means of the ‘virtues’ that operate in things. These are forces, hidden properties, and astral influences in nature. Containing all three worlds within itself, the human microcosm, through knowledge, exerts a magic influence on external nature. . ’’ In this reading, the evocation of the magus became an encoded referent for the perfected human being, and the realization of all of the possibilities of mind became a task encompassed by the Christian message.

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