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Reincarnation in America: An Esoteric History surveys the complex history of reincarnation theories across multiple fields of discourse in a pre-American context, ranging from early Greek traditions to Medieval Christian theories, Renaissance esotericism, and European Kabbalah, all of which had adherents that brought those theories to America. Rebirth theories are shown in all these groups to be highly complex and often disjunctive with mainstream religions even though members of conventional religions frequently affirm the possibility of rebirth. As a history of an idea, reincarnation theory is a current, vital belief pattern that cuts across a wide spectrum of social, cultural, and scientific domains in a long, complex history not reducible to any specific religious or theoretical explanation. This book is cross-disciplinary and multicultural, linking religious studies perspectives with science based research; it draws upon many distinct disciplines and avoids reduction of reincarnation to any specific theory. The underlying thesis is to demonstrate the complexity of reincarnation theories; what is unique is the historical overview and the gradual shift away from religious theories of rebirth to new theories that are therapeutic and trans-traditional.
|Publication date:||28th July 2017|
|Categories:||History of religion, Religion & beliefs, Aspects of religion (non-Christian),|
Lee Irwin is professor in the Religious Studies Department at the College of Charleston.More About Lee Irwin