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OHA Book Club – Upstate Cauldron: Eccentric Spiritual Movements in Upstate New York
March 24, 2018 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
On Saturday, March 24th, the OHA Book Club will discuss Upstate Cauldron: Eccentric Spiritual Movements in Upstate New York.
About the book (via SUNY Press)
Bronze Medalist 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the US Northeast – Best Regional Non-Fiction Category
HONORABLE MENTION 2015 ForeWord INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award in the Religion Category
From 1776 to 1914, an amazing collection of prophets, mediums, sects, cults, utopian communities, and spiritual leaders arose in Upstate New York. Along with the best known of these, such as the Shakers, Mormons, and Spiritualists, this book explores more than forty other spiritual leaders or groups, some of them virtually unknown, but all of them fascinating. The author uncovers common threads that characterize these homegrown spiritualities, including roots in Western esoteric traditions, liberation from the psychological pressures of dogmatic Christianity, a preoccupation with sex, and involvement in the radical reform movements of the day. In addition to maps and photographs of surviving buildings and monuments, the book also features a gazetteer of sites listing 150 locations connected to these groups, which may be used as a helpful travel guide to the region.
“Godwin’s conversational style and his attention to narrative detail make Upstate Cauldron a book that would be appreciated by academic and non-academic audiences alike. As a survey text, this book is invaluable, pointing to areas that are currently under-researched in the field, offering suggestions for further study. But any reader interested in the history of upstate New York would come away with an enriched appreciation for the region’s history and culture.” — Nova Religio