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Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age

Hammer, Olav LU (2000)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen analyserar sättet på vilket religiösa utsagor förändrats för att passa det moderna samhällets uppfattningar om naturvetenskap, om främmande folks religioner och om individens möjlighet att erhålla religiösa upplevelser. Som empiriskt material används en grupp historiskt och tematiskt besläktade rörelser, från det sena artonhundratalets teosofi fram till dagens New Age.
Abstract
The study addresses the question of how religious creativity in the West manages to adapt to the forces of modernity. The empirical data are drawn from a set of historically and thematically related movements, from late nineteenth century theosophy to the contemporary New Age.The dissertation is divided into three main sections. The first serves as a necessary background, presenting a number of theoretical concepts used throughout the study. A brief historical overview of contemporary esotericism is also introduced.The second and most extensive section presents the three discursive strategies commonly employed to support the doctrinal statements of late modern esotericists. Firstly, religious innovations are bolstered by claiming that they... (More)
The study addresses the question of how religious creativity in the West manages to adapt to the forces of modernity. The empirical data are drawn from a set of historically and thematically related movements, from late nineteenth century theosophy to the contemporary New Age.The dissertation is divided into three main sections. The first serves as a necessary background, presenting a number of theoretical concepts used throughout the study. A brief historical overview of contemporary esotericism is also introduced.The second and most extensive section presents the three discursive strategies commonly employed to support the doctrinal statements of late modern esotericists. Firstly, religious innovations are bolstered by claiming that they are founded on ancient traditions. Secondly, it is claimed that modern science is beginning to confirm the validity of various esoteric doctrinal statements. Thirdly, it is commonly stated that personal experience can validate esoteric claims. The study shows how all three strategies have adapted to the changing default presuppositions of the surrounding culture regarding tradition, science and religious experience.The third and final section examines how all three strategies interconnect and form a whole, by examining a particular case: how the strategies are used to support the concept of reincarnation. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Rothstein, Mikael
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
discourse, anthroposophy, discursive strategy, disembedding, emic historiography, globalization, late modernity, movement text, New Age, reflexivity, religious experience, scientism, secularization, sociocognitive analysis, tradition, theosophy, Theology, Western esotericism, Teologi
pages
430 pages
publisher
Olav Hammer, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 8, 223 62 Lund
defense location
Edens Hörsal
defense date
2000-10-07 10:00
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1e9c1242-d67b-484a-b69d-91db4936e7bb (old id 19526)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 08:35:38
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:08
@phdthesis{1e9c1242-d67b-484a-b69d-91db4936e7bb,
  abstract     = {The study addresses the question of how religious creativity in the West manages to adapt to the forces of modernity. The empirical data are drawn from a set of historically and thematically related movements, from late nineteenth century theosophy to the contemporary New Age.The dissertation is divided into three main sections. The first serves as a necessary background, presenting a number of theoretical concepts used throughout the study. A brief historical overview of contemporary esotericism is also introduced.The second and most extensive section presents the three discursive strategies commonly employed to support the doctrinal statements of late modern esotericists. Firstly, religious innovations are bolstered by claiming that they are founded on ancient traditions. Secondly, it is claimed that modern science is beginning to confirm the validity of various esoteric doctrinal statements. Thirdly, it is commonly stated that personal experience can validate esoteric claims. The study shows how all three strategies have adapted to the changing default presuppositions of the surrounding culture regarding tradition, science and religious experience.The third and final section examines how all three strategies interconnect and form a whole, by examining a particular case: how the strategies are used to support the concept of reincarnation.},
  author       = {Hammer, Olav},
  keyword      = {discourse,anthroposophy,discursive strategy,disembedding,emic historiography,globalization,late modernity,movement text,New Age,reflexivity,religious experience,scientism,secularization,sociocognitive analysis,tradition,theosophy,Theology,Western esotericism,Teologi},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {430},
  publisher    = {Olav Hammer, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 8, 223 62 Lund},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age},
  year         = {2000},
}