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Displaying: 1-9 of 9 documents


articles
1. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Stefania Palmisano, Nicola Pannofino, Inventive Traditions: Sacred Creativity in the Spirituality of The Secret
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Starting out from a critical analysis of the historiographical category of the invention of tradition developed by Hobsbawm and Ranger (The Invention of Tradition, 1983), this article examines tradition as a fundamental resource of cultural creativity in the religious context, putting forward the alternative concept of “inventive tradition.” The creative mechanisms underlying inventive traditions can be illustrated by an exemplary case study, that of the New Age spiritual movement arising from Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. This analysis shows the role played by narration as an interpretative frame through which tradition is re-elaborated and realised, adapting it to new—present—meanings. Thus hermetism, The Secret’s tradition of reference, is transformed and updated, embracing the consumer society’s typical cultural values. The innovations introduced by The Secret have become in time templates of success imitated by other religious groups.
2. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Stefano Bigliardi, From Contactee to Prophet: The Evolution of Jean Miguères’s Self-Narrative
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The paper analytically reconstructs the French contactee Jean Miguères’s (1940–1992) narrative as it was developed in three books published over a decade (1977, 1979, 1987). It is argued that Miguères at first presented himself to the general public as an unsophisticated person who had had contact with extraterrestrials but later on tended to emphasize the religious undertones of his message.
3. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Martha Bradley, Adidam and the Sacralization of Space
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The devotees of Avatar Adi Da Samraj gather in sacred community spaces for “systematic, open esoteric school and global community of spiritual practice,” with principal sites in Fiji and in Northern California. Adidam constructs new sacred architecture embodying spiritual concepts and constructed the landscape for ritual and practice, as well as making sacred space out of buildings and landscape that was historically used for a different purpose. This process of sacralization was made meaningful through religious devotion, communion with Him, Avatar Adi Da, and a range of spiritual disciplines such as the practice of meditation and study, the creation of sacred art or architecture, and the embodied expression of devotion through diet, exercise, or physical work, practices which support the devotional Way of Adidam in the context of sacred sites “empowered” as “Agents of His Spiritual Transmission.” This article looks at the process of sacralization of the Mountain of Attention Sanctuary site and the process of constructing memory—or the way space contributes to remembering Adi Da.
4. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis, Sucking the ‘De’ Out of Me: How an Esoteric Theory of Persecution and Martyrdom Fuels Falun Gong’s Assault on Intellectual Freedom
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In March 2015, a Falun Gong practitioner began an extended email assault on an Australian academician, an academician who had written about the confrontation between this practitioner’s movement and the People’s Republic of China in ways that the practitioner deemed overly critical of Falun Gong. This (in many ways anonymous) person demanded that the academician retract her article, implicitly threatening to defame her, her university, and the journal in which her piece appeared, and, possibly, file a lawsuit if she did not accede to his demands. Though most non-specialists think of Falun Gong as a peaceful spiritual exercise group unjustly persecuted by Chinese authorities, it has a dark, little-known history of forcibly silencing critics. In turn, this pattern of repression is tied in with an esoteric theory of karma which prompts practitioners of Falun Gong to actively seek persecution and martyrdom.
5. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Marco Frenschkowski, Images of Religions and Religious History in the Works of L. Ron Hubbard
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How L. Ron Hubbard’s his views on Christianity, Buddhism and other religions develop and how do they relate to popular and academic knowledge in the 1940s and 1950s? The idea Hubbard only for economic or public relation reasons defined Scientology as a religion is a serious biographic mistake, as a survey of his earlier statements can show. Hubbard only had limited knowledge on the historic religions, however (as he himself says). But he seriously tried to find a place for Scientology in the history of religions, as can be seen from texts like the Phoenix lectures, his most elaborate discussion of how the other religions relate to Scientology. The article discusses both Hubbard´s ideas on religious history and his possible sources.
6. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Dorthe Refslund Christensen, Rethinking Scientology: A Thorough Analysis of L. Ron Hubbard’s Formulation of Therapy and Religion in Dianetics and Scientology, 1950–1986
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This paper analyzes the interrelations between therapy and religion in Dianetics and Scientology as represented and re-represented by L. Ron Hubbard in The Technical Bulletins. Other Dianetics and Scientology books from the years 1950–1986 have been included in the analysis where elaboration is needed in order to understand Hubbard’s development of ideas as they appear in the bulletins.
book reviews
7. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Xudong Ning, The Religion of Falun Gong. By Benjamin Penny
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8. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Titus Hjelm, The Devil: A New Biography. By Philip C. Almond
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9. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Margrethe Løøv, Sects and Stats: Overturning the Conventional Wisdom about Cult Members. By James R. Lewis
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