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Water: A Spiritual History [NOOK Book]

Overview

Water has long been associated with the magical, the mysterious and the divine.

From sacred springs to holy wells, and from hydropathic cures and temperance reform to the modern spa, Ian Bradley explores how water's creative, health-giving and restorative powers have been conceived, worshipped and marketed in an essentially spiritual way.

In pre-Christian times, springs ...
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Water: A Spiritual History

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Overview

Water has long been associated with the magical, the mysterious and the divine.

From sacred springs to holy wells, and from hydropathic cures and temperance reform to the modern spa, Ian Bradley explores how water's creative, health-giving and restorative powers have been conceived, worshipped and marketed in an essentially spiritual way.

In pre-Christian times, springs and rivers were seen as the dwelling places of deities with magical life-giving and curative powers, associated especially with the feminine and with ritual cleansing and rebirth. With the coming of Christianity, water was incorporated into Christian ritual and tradition through baptism and the cult of holy wells. From the 16th century onwards, the benefits of water came to be seen more in terms of therapeutic healing than the miraculous. Through the development of drinking and bathing cures, spas and hydrotherapy, a more scientific but still essentially spiritual understanding of the curative properties of water was developed. By the eighteenth century, spas and watering places had acquired their own enchanted and mysterious qualities, in many ways taking the place of medieval pilgrim shrines. Now, a new, more hedonistic kind of pilgrim comes to modern spas to experience a potent post-modern elixir of self-oriented well-being.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441167675
  • Publisher: BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING
  • Publication date: 11/2/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,060,892
  • File size: 10 MB

Meet the Author

Ian Bradley is Reader in Practical Theology and Church History at the University of St Andrews, a minister in the Church of Scotland and a prolific author & broadcaster.
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Table of Contents

1. The Spiritual Significance of Water in the World's Major Religions \ 2. Classical, Celtic and Early Christian attitudes to water \ 3. Medieval Holy Wells \ 4. The Rise of Spas: A Protestant approach to water \ 5. Romanticism and Antiquarianism in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries \ 6. Water is Best: hydropathy, temperance and the cult of cleanliness \ 7. Visions and Miracles: the rediscovery of holy water in the late nineteenth century \ 8. The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius: spiritual approaches to water in the twentieth century \ 9. Water Today: holistic hedonism, overflowing fonts and disappearing rivers \ Appendix: ten places in which to experience the spirituality of water
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