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By Catherine Tumber

Opposite to well known idea, New Age spirituality didn't without warning seem in American existence within the Nineteen Seventies and '80s. In American Feminism and the delivery of latest Age Spirituality, Catherine Tumber demonstrates that the hot Age circulation first flourished greater than a century in the past through the Gilded Age less than the mantle of 'New Thought.'

Based principally on learn in well known journals, self-help manuals, newspaper debts, and archival collections, American Feminism and the delivery of recent Age Spirituality explores the contours of the recent notion flow. during the lives of famous figures comparable to Mary Baker Eddy, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and Edward Bellamy in addition to via extra imprecise, yet extra consultant 'New Thoughters' equivalent to Abby Morton Diaz, Emma Curtis Hopkins, Ursula Gestefeld, Lilian Whiting, Sarah Farmer, and Elizabeth Towne, Tumber examines the old stipulations that gave upward push to New concept. She will pay shut awareness to the ways that feminism turned grafted, with various levels of good fortune, to emergent different types of liberal tradition within the overdue 19th century―progressive politics, the Social Gospel, humanist psychotherapy, bohemian way of life, and mass marketplace journalism.

American Feminism and the beginning of recent Age Spirituality questions the price of the recent age movement―then and now―to the pursuit of women's rights and democratic renewal.

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Extra resources for American Feminism and the Birth of New Age Spirituality: Searching for the Higher Self, 1875-1915

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39 Even worse, Mrs. Eddy's church seemed to mirror the corrupt practices and institutional arrangements late-nineteenth-century reformers believed re­ quired change. The fury unleashed on Christian Science by reformers other­ wise drawn to metaphysical healing suggested the strength of their sense of betrayal. Here was just another example of "Commercial Christianity," edi­ torialized a self-described "practitioner of metaphysical healing and . . "40 The most comprehensive-and scathing-attack of this type came from Mark Twain in a characteristically irascible diatribe entitled Christian Science ( 1 907).

22. : University of Notre Dame Press, 198 1 ) , 1 1-12. 23. Roy Wallis, "Reflections on When Prophecy Fails," in Zetic Scholar 4 ( 1979). James R. Lewis provides a helpful, largely sympathetic overview of New Age in "Ap­ proaches to the Study of the New Age Movement," in Perspectives on the New Age, ed. James R. Lewis and J. Gordon Melton (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992), 15-29. 24. J. : Gale Research, 1 990) : vii. : Prometheus Books, 1988). Irving Hexham, "The Evangelical Response to the New Age," in Perspec­ tives on the New Age ( 152-64), provides a weak but fairly comprehensive overview of evangelical criticism of New Age, although much more has become available (especially over the Internet) since 1 992.

Van H. " Wakeman argued that spiritualism underestimated humanity by appealing to the lesser side of human nature. Spiritualists, he maintained, paid insufficient attention to the integrity of the will which, when exercised properly, led to higher knowledge. " "Spiritualism believes in passivity and submitting to 'control,"' he ac­ curately observed. "Theosophy believes in activity-the highest spiritual ac­ tivity. . "35 Gnostic reformers, as will become clear, had difficulty them­ selves synthesizing the claims of both "passivity" and "activity" on the hu­ man spirit.

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