Yoga classes and Zen meditation, New-Age retreats and nature mysticism - all are part of an ongoing religious experimentation that has surprisingly deep roots in American history. Tracing out the country's Transcendentalist and cosmopolitan religious impulses over the last two centuries, "Restless Souls" explores America's abiding romance with spirituality as religion's better half. Now in its second edition, including a new preface, Leigh Eric Schmidt's fascinating book provides a rich account of how this open-road spirituality developed in American culture in the first place as well as a sweeping survey of the liberal religious movements that touted it and ensured its continued vitality.
Leigh Eric Schmidt is Edward C. Mallinckrodt University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of numerous books, including Heaven's Bride: The Unprintable Life of Ida C. Craddock, American Mystic, Scholar, Sexologist, Martyr, and Madwoman, Hearing Things: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment, and Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays.
Preface to the Second Edition INTRODUCTION Spirituality in the Making CHAPTER ONE Mystic Club CHAPTER TWO Solitude CHAPTER THREE The Piety of the World CHAPTER FOUR Meditation for Americans CHAPTER FIVE Freedom and Self-Surrender CHAPTER SIX Seekers EPILOGUE Be Gentle with Yourself Notes Index