Cover image for Shadow culture psychology and spirituality in America
Shadow culture psychology and spirituality in America
Taylor, Eugene.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Counterpoint, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 296 pages ; 24 cm
Folk psychology and the American visionary tradition -- Puritans and mystics of the First Great Awakening -- Early visionary communities: the Quakers and Shakers -- The Swedenborgian and transcendentalist milieu -- Homeopathy, phrenology, and mesmerism -- Utopian socialism and the Second Great Awakening -- Spiritualism, Theosophy, New Thought, and Christian Science -- Psychical research, scientific psychotherapy, and the psychology of religion -- When the Swamis came to America -- The Americanization of Jung and Freud -- Esalen and the Counterculture Movement of the 1960s -- Humanistic and transpersonal psychology -- Psychology and spirituality: another Great Awakening?
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BL2525 .T39 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Americans are witnessing a third Great Awakening, an explosion of interest in esoteric and mystical religious experience. Often referred to as New Age or pop psychology -- especially by its detractors -- this third Great Awakening is profoundly psychological, stressing the alteration of consciousness, the integration of mind and body, and the connection between physical and mental health. Its practitioners comprise a shadow culture of seekers, whose experiences are best understood in the context of three centuries of the American search for the sacred.

Author Notes

Eugene Taylor holds an MA in psychology and Asian studies and a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of psychology. Currently, he is a lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, the senior psychologist in the psychiatric service at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and an executive faculty member of San Francisco's Saybrook Graduate School and Research Institute

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Although both of these books focus on the great interest in spirituality in America today, much of which lies outside the predominant religious cultures, they are quite different. Shorto (Gospel Truth: The New Image of Jesus Emerging from Science and History and Why It Matters) considers contemporary psychiatric cases to show how many psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists have opened themselves to spiritual and religious dimensions. Freud may have dismissed religion, but now the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual includes an entry for the "religious or spiritual problem." Taylor (William James on Consciousness Beyond the Margin) presents the history, starting in the 1700s, of various spiritual and religious movements that he calls the "shadow culture"Äthey lie in the shadow of prevailing cultures and religions. He discusses Quakers and Shakers, Swedenborgians, Christian Scientists, and many more, and brings us to the current American focus on a seeming connection between psychology and spirituality. Both books are extremely interesting and both tackle challenging and controversial subjects. Both also call for some background on the part of the reader. Highly recommended.ÄJohn Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Libs., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Taylor (Harvard Medical School) draws on his expertise in the philosophy of psychology for this interesting eclectic documentation of what he characterizes as the "shadow culture," a vast array of individuals "who live and think differently from the mainstream but who participate in its daily activities." The author examines US visionary tradition and folk psychology ranging from the Puritans to modern-day spirituality, treating such groups and topics as Quakers, Transcendentalists, Christian Science, Mormons, Jung, Freud, humanistic and transpersonal psychology, and Buddhism. Despite its brevity, this volume contains a wealth of information presented in a concise and articulate manner. Anyone interested in spirituality and its many historical manifestations will enjoy Taylor's work. Unfortunately, the book lacks an index, which restricts its usefulness. Recommended for the lay reader, academic libraries at all levels, and professionals. J. Bailey; Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 Folk Psychology and the American Visionary Traditionp. 1
2 Puritans and Mystics of the First Great Awakeningp. 25
3 Early Visionary Communities: The Quakers and Shakersp. 43
4 The Swedenborgian and Transcendentalist Milieup. 61
5 Homeopathy, Phrenology, and Mesmerismp. 99
6 Utopian Socialism and the Second Great Awakeningp. 117
7 Spiritualism, Theosophy, New Thought, and Christian Sciencep. 137
8 Psychical Research, Scientific Psychotherapy, and the Psychology of Religionp. 157
9 When the Swamis Came to Americap. 185
10 The Americanization of Jung and Freudp. 209
11 Esalen and the Counterculture Movement of the 1960sp. 235
12 Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychologyp. 261
13 Psychology and Spirituality: Another Great Awakening?p. 283
Indexp. 297