Shaman and Sage

The Roots of “Spiritual but Not Religious” in Antiquity

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Pub Date May 28 2024 | Archive Date May 04 2024

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Description

The first volume of Michael Horton’s magisterial intellectual history of “spiritual but not religious” as a phenomenon in Western culture

Conversations around secularization and the rapid rise in “nones” identifying as “spiritual but not religious” tend to focus on the past century. But this phenomenon and the values that underlie it may be older than Christianity itself.

Michael Horton reveals that the hallmarks of modern spirituality—autonomy, individualism, utopianism, and more—have their foundations in Greek philosophical religion. Horton makes the case that the development of the shaman figure in the Axial Age—particularly its iteration among Orphists—represented a “divine self.” One must realize the divinity within the self to break free from physicality and become one with a panentheistic unity. Time and time again, this tradition of divinity hiding in nature has arisen as an alternative to monotheistic submission to a god who intervenes in creation.

This first volume explores the roots of the divine self in antiquity, while volumes two and three chart the concept through the Middle Ages and the Enlightenment. The Divine Self will be the authoritative work students and scholars consult to understand the “spiritual but not religious” tendency as a recurring theme in Western culture from antiquity to the present.

The first volume of Michael Horton’s magisterial intellectual history of “spiritual but not religious” as a phenomenon in Western culture

Conversations around secularization and the rapid rise in...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780802877116
PRICE $64.99 (USD)
PAGES 540

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