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Displaying: 1-10 of 31 documents


1. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis Introduction
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articles
2. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Jean-François Mayer The Alternative Religiosity Market: Visit to an Esoteric Fair
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Gatherings and fairs promoting alternative beliefs, practices and lifestyles offer a privileged environment for observing the cultic milieu and its functioning. Most people interested in such topics do never join an organized alternative religious group. Written in 1999, this article is based on observations gleaned at a fair that takes place in Zurich every year since 1989. It shows the developments that intervened between the first and second shows (1989 and 1990) and the 10th gathering in 1998. This illustrated how the field has continued to widen, with an increasing diversity of practices and techniques offered. The article observes howvarious reasons lead practitioners to combine techniques and teachings. It also observes a pervading ambivalence toward modernity and the recourse to exotic cultures as a source of relief for Westerners.
3. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Kelly Therese Pollock Working her Magic: How Starhawk’s Language of Spirituality Empowers Women and Revalues Nature
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It would be difficult to underestimate the influence of Starhawk on contemporary witchcraft and ecofeminism. Trained as a psychologist, she utilizes a unique spiritual language that is derived from a reconceptualization of classical psychoanalytic notions. In her use of this spiritual language, Starhawk not only upsets existing worldviews, but she also promotes her ecofeminist agenda. Women are empowered through Starhawk’s teachings because she allows them to see the beauty and worth in themselves. By disrupting comfortable dichotomies and emphasizing the immanent nature of divinity, Starhawk helps women to becomepersonally and socially empowered and revalues nature by recognizing the interconnectedness of all creation.
4. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Arthur Herman God, Evil and Annie Besant
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This paper is about the impact of a philosophical problem on the life of a most remarkable human being. The problem is the theological problem of evil and the remarkable human being is the one-time Christian, one-time atheist, and all-time theosophist, Annie Wood Besant. Her personal and intellectual encounter with the theological problem of evil changed not only her life but, through her influence, it changed the life of British society in the 19th century and Indian society in the 20th century. Annie Besant's personal encounter with intense human suffering changed her from the wife of a Victorian clergyman and devoted mother into achampion of women's rights, a union organizer, an atheist, and a socialist; and her intellectual discovery of a solution to the problem of human suffering changed her from a free thinking atheist, materialist and secularist into an occultist and theologian and leading light of the Theosophical Society in England and India. In what follows I want to do two things: First of all, say something about Mrs. Besant's extraordinary life in England and India; and then, secondly, say something about the philosophical problem and its solution that played such important roles in her life.
5. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis The Branch Davidians: Through the Lens of Jonestown
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Ever since Jonestown, part of the “cult” stereotype has been that NRMs are volatile groups, ready to commit group suicide at the drop of a hat. The assumption that the Branch Davidian community was a potential Jonestown may or may not have contributed to the initial ill-advised ATF raid. But, following the fiery holocaust set in motion by the FBI raid 51 days later, defenders of these agencies’ actions uniformly portrayed the Davidians as having been a “suicide group.” The present article presents an overview of the Davidian community, focusing particular attention on evidence that the group was not inclined to suicide. Rather, the Davidians were victims of law enforcement malfeasance.
6. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Inga B. Tøllefsen Ecofeminism, Religion and Nature in an Indian and Global Perspective
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Women tend to take a secondary place in society and also tend to be equated with nature, thus being on the losing end on both fronts, and fighting the same battle against oppression. Ecofeminism has many phases and faces, but one of the most influential is that of spiritual ecofeminism and its many expressions under the New Age umbrella. In an Indian context the picture seems to be different, as spiritual ecofeminism seems to be more closely aligned with “traditional” Hinduism. Vandana Shiva, the most famous Indian ecofeminist writer, faces a massive critique from numerous scholars. Her work is seen as essentialist and as romanticizing history, where a gender analysis perspective would focus on, among others, unequal power relations in society.
book reviews
7. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Jessica Moberg Religion Crossing Boundaries: Transnational Religious and Social Dynamics in Africa and the New African Diaspora by Afe Adogame & James V. Spickard, eds.
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8. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Rūta Ruolytė The Manifestation and Development of New Religions in Lithuania: Case Study of the Art of Living Foundation (Naujųjų religijų raiška ir ypatumai Lietuvoje: „Gyvenimo meno” fondo atvejo studija) by Milda Alisauskiene
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9. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Margaret Gouin Religions of Modernity: Relocating the Sacred to the Self and the Digital by Stef Aupers and Dick Houtman, eds.
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10. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Christine O’Leary-Rockey Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation by Henrik Bogdan
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