This book explores the shifting and negotiated boundaries of religion, spirituality, and secular thinking in Britain and North America during the twentieth century. It contributes to a growing scholarship that problematises secularization theory, arguing that religion and spirituality increasingly took diverse new forms and identities, rather than simply being replaced by a monolithic secularity.
The volume examines the way that thinkers, writers, and artists manipulated and reimagined orthodox belief systems in their work, using the notion of heresy to delineate the borders of what was considered socially and ethically acceptable. It includes topics such as psychospiritual approaches in medicine, countercultures and religious experience, and the function of blasphemy within supposedly secular politics. The book argues that heresy and heretical identities established fluid borderlands. These borderlands not only blur simple demarcations of the religious and secular in the twentieth century, but also infer new forms of heterodoxy through an exchange of ideas.
This collection of essays offers a nuanced take on a topic that pervades the study of religion. It will be of great use to scholars of Heresy Studies, Religious Studies and Comparative Religion, Social Anthropology, History, Literature, Philosophy, and Cultural Studies.
Table of Contents
Karina Jakubowicz & Robert Dickins
1 The Concrescence of Dissent: Whitehead as Religious, Scientific, Philosophic Heretic
2 Edward Carpenter and Early Modernist Heresy
3 Christian Occultism: Charles Williams and the Erosion of Heresy
4 ‘Spilt Religion’: Heresy in Classical Modernism
5 Heresy in Paradise: Literary Modernism and the Genesis Myth
6 Experimental Heresies: LSD and Christianity in Britain
7 The Tyranny of Cool: Orthodoxy, Heresy, and the 1960s Counterculture
8 Immanent Eschaton: Discordian and Deleuzian Dissimulations of the Goddess
Benjamin J. Austin
9 Representations of Ritual in Twentieth Century Concert Dance
10 Blasphemy, Heresy and Liberalism in late Twentieth Century Britain
Gregory Erickson and Suzanne Hobson
Karina Jakubowicz is an adjunct professor at Florida State University, Tallahassee, and Fordham University, New York. She specialises in twentieth century literature and culture and has published widely on modernist writers including Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield.
Robert Dickins, PhD, is a historian and publisher. He undertook his PhD at Queen Mary, University of London and is the founding editor of the Psychedelic Press (2008–present). He is also on the steering committee of the biennial conference and charity Breaking Convention (2013–present). His research interests focus on the social and cultural history of psychedelic substances, and the role of writing in spiritual and magical traditions during the nineteenth century.