A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of by Catherine L. Albanese

By Catherine L. Albanese

This path-breaking booklet tells the tale of yankee metaphysical faith extra absolutely than it has ever been informed ahead of, alongside the way in which considerably revising the landscape of yank spiritual heritage. Catherine L. Albanese follows metaphysical traditions from Renaissance Europe to England after which the United States, 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 publication follows evolving types of metaphysical faith, together with Freemasonry, early Mormonism, Universalism, and Transcendentalism—and such extra incarnations as Spiritualism, Theosophy, New inspiration, Christian technology, and reinvented models of Asian principles and practices. carrying on with into the 20 th century and after, the ebook exhibits  how the metaphysical combine has broadened to surround flying saucers job, channeling, and chakras within the  New Age movement—and a much wider new spirituality within the current. In its personal approach, Albanese argues, American metaphysical faith has been as full of life, persuasive, and influential because the evangelical culture that's extra frequently the point of interest of spiritual students’ realization. She makes the case that as a result of its combinative nature—its skill to include differing ideals and practices—metaphysical faith bargains key insights into the heritage of all American religions.

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That have in them a natural power of divinity. And this is why those gods are entertained with constant sacrifices, with hymns, praises and sweet sounds in tune with heaven’s harmony: so that the heavenly ingredient enticed into the idol by constant communications with heaven may gladly endure its long stay among humankind. 18 Moreover, the animation of statues is itself suggested rather cryptically in the Corpus Hermeticum. Indeed, if one returns to its later discourses (the ones unknown to Ficino and Cosimo but in print from 1507) with the Asclepius on the horizon of memory, certain passages gain a measure of clarity that they did not have before.

In encountering Rosencreutz and his story, we enter a world more akin to that of John Bunyan and his fabled Pilgrim’s Progress than that of the Platonic or Neoplatonic academy or, by medieval and Renaissance times, the monastic mysticism that was still so strongly predicated on community. In sum, in Christian Rosencreutz the Hermetic legacy, become a metaphysical spirituality, was taking a turn that would shape it for an American Protestant world. Still more, it was taking a turn that would shape it for an American Enlightenment world in the age of the American Revolution and its aftermath.

19 30 Beginnings In her memorable study of Giordano Bruno, Frances Yates pointed to connections for Ficino and other Renaissance figures between the ‘‘religion of the mind’’ and the practice of (material) magic. Although, as newer scholarship suggests, she probably overstated her case, her reading is instructive in coming to terms with resemblance. The Asclepius, for all its focus on mystical teaching, does incorporate a cultus that befits the life of a philosopher. ‘‘Sympathetic astral magic’’ became a way to draw down the energies and blessings of heaven, even if Renaissance magi expressed continuing concern about remaining faithful Christians as they did so.

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