The Esoteric Origins of the American Renaissance

The Esoteric Origins of the American Renaissance

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The term 'Western esotericism' refers to a wide range of spiritual currents including alchemy, Hermeticism, Kabbala, Rosicrucianism, and Christian theosophy, as well as several practical forms of esotericism like cartomancy, geomancy, necromancy, alchemy, astrology, herbalism, and magic. The early presence of esotericism in North America has not been much studied, and even less so the indebtedness to esotericism of some major American literary figures. In this book Arthur Versluis breaks new ground, showing that many writers of the so-called American Renaissance drew extensively on and were inspired by Western esoteric currents. Before offering his detailed analysis of the esoteric elements in the writings of figures from the American Renaissance, Versluis offers an overview of esotericism in Europe and its offshoots in colonial America.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 164 x 234 x 26mm | 621.43g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195138872
  • 9780195138870
  • 2,004,915

Review quote

... clear and intelligible. * Journal of Religion * ... brings to light a revealing dimension of nineteenth-century American literary culture that has too often been relegated to footnotes or passed over in somewhat embarrassed silence by twentieth-century literary critics. * Journal of Religion * ... the book brings to light a fascinating dimension of early American literary culture. * Journal of Religion *show more

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