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The Occult Nineteenth Century: Roots, Developments, and Impact on the Modern World

The Occult Nineteenth Century: Roots, Developments, and Impact on the Modern World

The Occult Nineteenth Century: Roots, Developments, and Impact on the Modern World

The Occult Nineteenth Century: Roots, Developments, and Impact on the Modern World

Paperback(1st ed. 2021)

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The nineteenth century witnessed a proliferation of alternative religious currents and practices, appropriating earlier traditions, entangling geographically distinct spiritual discourses, and crafting a repository of mindscapes eminently suitable to be accommodated by later generations of thinkers and practitioners. Penned by specialists in the field, this volume examines important themes and figures pertaining to this occult amalgam and its resonance into the twentieth century and beyond. Global guises of the occult, ranging from the Americas and Europe to India, are variously addressed, with special attention to the crucial role of mesmerism and the origins of modern yoga.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783030553203
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 01/10/2021
Series: Palgrave Studies in New Religions and Alternative Spiritualities
Edition description: 1st ed. 2021
Pages: 444
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Lukas Pokorny is Professor and Chair in Religious Studies at the Department of Religious Studies, University of Vienna, Austria.

Franz Winter is Professor of Religious Studies at the Department of Religious Studies, University of Graz, Austria.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Introductory Remarks
Lukas Pokorny and Franz Winter

Part I: Mesmerism

2. Carl August von Eschenmayer and the Somnambulic Soul
Wouter J. Hanegraaff

3. Priest-doctors and Magnetisers: Mesmerism, Romantic Medicine, and Catholic Thought in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century
Maren Sziede

4. Animal Magnetism and Its Psychological Implications in Hungary

5. From Fluidum to Prāṇa: Reading Mesmerism through Orientalist Lenses
Dominic S. Zoehrer

PartII: Occultism in America and Europe

6. Total Recall: The “Panoramic Life Review” near Death as Proof of the Soul’s Timeless Self-Presence in Western Esotericism of the Nineteenth Century
Jens Schlieter

7. Stages in the Development of an Occult Linguistics
Olav Hammer

8. The Art of Esoteric Posthumousness
Marco Pasi

9. Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie and Sexual Regeneration
John Patrick Deveney

10. The Theosophical Maitreya: On Benjamin Creme’s Millenarianism
Lukas Pokorny

11. Martial Arts Spirituality in Sweden: The Occult Connection
Per Faxneld

Part III: Occultism in Global Perspective

12. A Study into a Transreligious Quest for the Ultimate Truth: Indian, Muslim, and European Interpretations of the Upanishads
Franz Winter

13. Occult’s First Foot Soldier in Bengal: Peary Chand Mittra and the Early Theosophical Movement
Mriganka Mukhopadhyay

14. Re-Imagining an Ancient Greek Philosopher: The Pythagorean Musings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho)
Almut-Barbara Renger

15. African and Amerindian Spirits: A Note on the Influence of Nineteenth Century Spiritism and Spiritualism on Afro- and African-American Religions
Hans Gerald Hödl

Part IV: Occultism and Modern Yoga

16. Sri Sabhapati Swami: The Forgotten Yogi of Western Esotericism
Keith EdwardCantú

17. Tracing Vivekananda’s Prāṇa and Ākāśa: The Yogavāsiṣṭha and Rama Prasad’s Occult Science of Breath
Magdalena Kraler

18. Guru and Messiah: On the First Yoga Handbook in Polish Language: Wincenty Lutosławski’sThe Development of the Power of Will by Means of Psychophysical Exercises (1909)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This impressive volume demonstrates the globally entangled and boundary-shattering nature of what we have come to know as ‘alternative spirituality.’ Meticulous historical analyses of mesmerism and occultism are combined with comparative and transcultural perspectives on theosophy, yoga, and new religious movements and the relations between art, esotericism, medicine, and politics, to show just how central ‘the occult’ really was to the formation of modern culture. The study of occultism and spirituality will never be the same again.” (Egil Asprem, author of The Problem of Disenchantment: Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse, 1900–1939)

“This wide-ranging collection of essays provides a major contribution towards understanding and appreciating the importance of the occult—as a style of thought and a mode of acting—approached as a global phenomenon. Its historical focus underscores the importance of the ideas, personalities, and movements situated in the nineteenth century as an exceptionally fertile period in the course of which the cross-cultural forms of esotericism encountered and influenced each other.” (Gordan Djurdjevic, author of India and the Occult: The Influence of South Asian Spirituality on Modern Western Occultism)

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