Book Review: Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment

Book Review: Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment

Popular religious life in New England, unlike Europe, had no Christmas, cathedrals, abbeys, liturgies, wedding ales, or anything done away with by the Protestant Reformation of 1517. Yet the settlers did come with “folk” beliefs, sometimes older than Christianity, that had not been specifically targeted 

Book Review: Radical Spirits by Anne Braude

Book Review: Radical Spirits by Anne Braude

Ann Braude. Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989, 2001. Anne Braude’s 1989 Religious Studies classic Radical Spirits was one of the first texts to discuss how religion empowered women politically through the late nineteenth-century phenomenon of Spiritualism, a 

Book Review: Riotous Flesh by April R. Haynes

Book Review: Riotous Flesh by April R. Haynes

April R. Haynes. Riotous Flesh: Women, Physiology, and the Solitary Vice in Nineteenth-Century America. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015. When Sylvester Graham offered the same sex advice to women as men—no masturbation, which would cause insanity, disease, and death, and no sexual excess 

Hypnosis & Self-Help: A Lineage (or, another book summary/review)

Hypnosis & Self-Help: A Lineage (or, another book summary/review)

Robert C. Fuller. Mesmerism and the American Cure of Souls. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982. Robert Fuller writes a history of 19th-century mental healing traditions that connects European Mesmerism to the development of distinctly American religious-psychological traditions such as Christian Science and New Thought. Fuller 

Book Review: Wash and Be Healed by Susan Cayleff

Book Review: Wash and Be Healed by Susan Cayleff

Another! And finally we are moving into health books. Susan E. Cayleff. Wash and Be Healed: The Water-Cure Movement and Women’s Health. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987. Washed and Be Healed is a fantastic look at the history of women’s experiences of the mid-nineteenth century 

Book Review: Credulity: A Cultural History of US Mesmerism by Emily Ogden

Book Review: Credulity: A Cultural History of US Mesmerism by Emily Ogden

Like last time, because it’s relevant to this Gymnosophist project, I’m sharing a review I wrote that relates to our lineage here (or one of them)—a piece of the history of spirituality in the U.S., this time from a scholar of English. It is something 

Book Review: Secularism in Antebellum America by John Modern

Book Review: Secularism in Antebellum America by John Modern

Hello, everyone. I abandoned you to my books and teaching for awhile, and for that apologies. I’m studying for exams and it’s just been impossible to post regularly even about fun stuff because frankly, I cannot bear to look at a screen any more than