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A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 20. April 2004


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Produktinformation

Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"Treitel's book provides much valuable information." -- Leslie Price, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research

"Treitel's detailed exploration... provides a valuable contribution to the literature on modern occultism." -- B. J. Gibbons, Historian

"A sophisticated and compelling contribution to the intellectual history of modern Germany." -- Kevin Cramer, Canadian Journal of History

"An important addition to the growing historiography that affirms that terms like 'irrationalism' fall short of describing the complex of Nazi Culture during the 1930s and 40s." -- Times Literary Supplement

"Treitel does a wonderful job of demonstrating the breadth of Germans' interests in the occult and exposing the developing market for spiritualists and their work." -- H. Glenn Penny, Central European History

"Treitel offers a social history of the German occult, panoramic in scope, which seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of a variety of occult organizations and their relationship to Wilhelmine society at large." -- Choice

"There is much to be admired in this thoroughly researched work." -- Alexander C T Geppert, Medical History

"Skillfully researched, strongly argued, beautifully written, Treitel's book adds to our understanding of the spiritual as a vital presence in modern culture." -- Kevin Repp, Journal of Modern History

"There is much to be admired in this thoroughly researched work." -- Alexander C T Geppert, Medical History

"Treitel's book provides much valuable information." -- Leslie Price, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research

"Treitel's detailed exploration... provides a valuable contribution to the literature on modern occultism." -- B. J. Gibbons, Historian

"A sophisticated and compelling contribution to the intellectual history of modern Germany." -- Kevin Cramer, Canadian Journal of History

"Skillfully researched, strongly argued, beautifully written, Treitel's book adds to our understanding of the spiritual as a vital presence in modern culture." -- Kevin Repp, Journal of Modern History

"An important addition to the growing historiography that affirms that terms like 'irrationalism' fall short of describing the complex of Nazi Culture during the 1930s and 40s." -- Times Literary Supplement

"Treitel does a wonderful job of demonstrating the breadth of Germans' interests in the occult and exposing the developing market for spiritualists and their work." -- H. Glenn Penny, Central European History

"Treitel offers a social history of the German occult, panoramic in scope, which seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of a variety of occult organizations and their relationship to Wilhelmine society at large." -- Choice

A sophisticated and compelling contribution to the intellectual history of modern Germany.--Kevin Cramer "Canadian Journal of History "

Treitel does a wonderful job of demonstrating the breadth of Germans' interests in the occult and exposing the developing market for spiritualists and their work.--H. Glenn Penny "Central European History "

Treitel's detailed exploration... provides a valuable contribution to the literature on modern occultism.--B. J. Gibbons "Historian "

Treitel's book provides much valuable information.--Leslie Price "Journal of the Society for Psychical Research "

There is much to be admired in this thoroughly researched work.--Alexander C T Geppert "Medical History "

Skillfully researched, strongly argued, beautifully written, Treitel's book adds to our understanding of the spiritual as a vital presence in modern culture.--Kevin Repp "Journal of Modern History "

Synopsis

Germany's painful entry into the modern age elicited many conflicting emotions. Excitement and anxiety about the "disenchantment of the world" predominated, as Germans realized that the triumph of science and reason had made the nation materially powerful while impoverishing it spiritually. Eager to enchant their world anew, many Germans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries responded by turning to a variety of paranormal beliefs and practices--including Theosophy, astrology, psychical research, graphology, dowsing, and spirit healing. No mere fringe phenomenon, the German occult movement had a truly national presence, encompassing hundreds of clubs, businesses, institutes, and publishers providing and consuming occult goods and services. In A Science for the Soul, historian Corinna Treitel explores the appeal and significance of German occultism in all its varieties between the 1870s and the 1940s, locating its dynamism in the nation's struggle with modernization and the public's dissatisfaction with scientific materialism.

Occultism, Treitel notes, served as a bridge between traditional religious beliefs and the values of an increasingly scientific, secular, and liberal society. Drawing on a wealth of archival materials, Treitel describes the individuals and groups who participated in the occult movement, reconstructs their organizational history, and examines the economic and social factors responsible for their success. Building on this foundation, Treitel turns to the question of how Germans used the occult in three realms of practice: Theosophy, where occult studies were used to achieve spiritual enlightenment; the arts, where occult states of consciousness fueled the creative process of avant-garde painters, writers, and dancers; and the applied sciences, where professionals in psychology, law enforcement, engineering, and medicine employed occult techniques to solve characteristic problems of modernity.

In conclusion, Treitel considers the conflicting meanings occultism held for contemporaries by focusing on the anti-spiritualist campaigns mounted by the national press, the Protestant and Catholic Churches, local and national governments, and the Nazi regime, which after years of alternating between affinity and antipathy for occultism, finally crushed the movement by 1945. Throughout, A Science for the Soul examines German occultism in its broadest cultural setting as a key aspect of German modernism, offering new insights into how Germans met the challenge of pursuing meaningful lives in the modern age.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Rezension
5 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Not really a review, more an impression 5. Juni 2007
Von J. Bielawski - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I looked inside the book using Amazon's great preview feature and I am a bit put off. I'm not sure what to make of this quote, for example: "Then, around 1912 [...] Schneiderfranken had a rebirth, at once aesthetic and personal. He went to Greece, and when he returned to Germany in 1914 he had become Bo Yin Ra, a spiritual teacher [...]". This indicates to me the author hasn't done sufficient research which puts the whole book under a question mark. The reason I'm saying this is that the quote above is just like saying "Well, the shoemaker Jakob Boehme once looked at a pot in his kitchen and within 45 minutes became a spiritual teacher" - I mean it's all literally true in a way but it's at the same time so misleading as to be - for all practical purposes - a lie. It seems to me the author didn't bother to check the original sources and merely copied an old German church lexicon entry.
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