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Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown (New)
by Smith, Jonathan Z.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Book ID: 9780226763606, 0226763609
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With this influential book of essays, Jonathan Z. Smith has pointed the academic study of religion in a new theoretical direction, one neither theological nor willfully ideological.
Making use of examples as apparently diverse and exotic as the Maori cults in nineteenth-century New Zealand and the events of Jonestown, Smith shows that religion must be construed as conventional, anthropological, historical, and as an exercise of imagination. In his analyses, religion emerges as the product of historically and geographically situated human ingenuity, cognition, and curiosity--simply put, as the result of human labor, one of the decisive but wholly ordinary ways human beings create the worlds in which they live and make sense of them.
"These seven essays . . . display the critical intelligence, creativity, and sheer common sense that make Smith one of the most methodologically sophisticated and suggestive historians of religion writing today. . . . Smith scrutinizes the fundamental problems of taxonomy and comparison in religious studies, suggestively redescribes such basic categories as canon and ritual, and shows how frequently studied myths may more likely reflect situational incongruities than vaunted mimetic congruities. His final essay, on Jonestown, demonstrates the interpretive power of the historian of religion to render intelligible that in our own day which seems most bizarre." -- Richard S. Sarason, Religious Studies Review
Deconstructing Gurdjieff: Biography of a Spiritual Magician
Inner Traditions / Bear & Company
In November 1949, architect Frank Lloyd Wright announced the death of "the greatest man in the world," yet few knew who he was talking about. Enigmatic, misunderstood, declared a charlatan, and recently dubbed "the Rasputin who inspired Mary Poppins," Gurdjieff's life has become a legend. But who really was George Ivanovich Gurdjieff?
Employing the latest research and discoveries, including previously unpublished reminiscences of the real man, Tobias Churton investigates the truth beneath th...
Grimoire of the Baron Citadel: The Book of the Four Ways.
Three Hands Press
As the governor of the Dead and the burial ground, the Baron Samedi is one of the most distinctive and potent loa of Haitian Vodou. An imposing figure in black raiment, he is most often pictured as a corpse. His other magical domains, less discussed in esoteric literature, include disruption, obscenity and -- importantly for the practicing sorcerer -- not only the arts of Magic but the very fabric of which it is made.
Emergent from the spiritual crossroads of traditional Vodou and English w...
The Complete Mystical Records of Dr. John Dee: Transcribed from the 16th-Century Manuscripts Documen
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
A lavishly packaged, two-volume box set containing the most faithful and accurate versions of John Dee's journals ever published. This is a must-have treasure for Dee aficionados and esoteric scholars who absolutely need the most meticulously detailed version of these highly influential works. A labor of love twenty years in the making, these volumes include transcripts of four manuscripts from the British Library and one from the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Two of these manuscripts have never b...More
Gnosis 19: The Trickster. A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions
"As long as we lie to ourselves, the Trickster will be with us.
He'll show up just when we least want him, to embarrass us on a
first date, to prove us fools in front of the learned company
we're trying to impress, to make us miss a power breakfast with
that all-important business contact."
- Richard Smoley, from the introduction
Contents -- Spring 1991