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Over onsFaculteit Godgeleerdheid en GodsdienstwetenschapOrganisatieWetenschappelijke stafPhD ResearchComparative Study of Religion

Dave Vliegenthart

Franklin Merrell-Wollf: a reasoned flight beyond reason
Franklin Merrell-Wolff
Franklin Merrell-Wolff

"New Age" individuals and movements tend to emphasize a pure or immediate experience-of reality, the self, (un)consciousness-at the expense of reason. It is all about "going out of your mind and coming to your senses." They promote an anti-intellectual attitude, which perceives the rational intellect with suspicion. Historian of religion James Webb once even referred to them as a collective "flight from reason." And yet, their anti-intellectual messages have often been developed into (highly) intellectual systems, by and for intellectuals, which combine methods and theories from eastern and western religion, philosophy, psychology and science. How to account for this paradox?

Though not a complete explanation, I submit part of the answer lies in the fundamental loss of meaning after World War I, and again after World War II, which sparked a widespread interest throughout the West in (similar) unconventional socio-religious ideologies. Using the life and teaching of American philosopher-sage Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1887-1985) as an unknown but typical example, I suggest a rise (in awareness) of "proximate others" in the first (1920-1940) and second (1960-1980) New Age, forced the founders of new religious movements to develop their "unique" ideologies into "reasoned flights beyond reason."

Laatst gewijzigd:05 december 2017 14:49