E.N. Bennett’s Apollonius, or the Present and Future of Psychical Research (1927) analyses the role spiritualism played in post-World War One society, which had been deeply traumatized by huge human losses. In this essay, Bennett’s prophecies are compared with the actual development of psychical research (or parapsychology) in the course of the twentieth century. Such phenomena attracted increasing attention during the 1970s, as a result of which various laboratories were created in American universities to study them. Nevertheless, the desired evidence was not forthcoming. Psychical research is, however, far from dead: its basic tenets have resurfaced at the centre of the composite New Age movement. Here the current age of syncretism will be examined through the interaction among recent holistic attitudes, controversial scientifi c approaches, such as string theory, and popular culture.

From Spiritualism to Syncretism: Twentieth-Century Pseudo-Science and the Quest for Wholeness

ASCARI, MAURIZIO
2009

Abstract

E.N. Bennett’s Apollonius, or the Present and Future of Psychical Research (1927) analyses the role spiritualism played in post-World War One society, which had been deeply traumatized by huge human losses. In this essay, Bennett’s prophecies are compared with the actual development of psychical research (or parapsychology) in the course of the twentieth century. Such phenomena attracted increasing attention during the 1970s, as a result of which various laboratories were created in American universities to study them. Nevertheless, the desired evidence was not forthcoming. Psychical research is, however, far from dead: its basic tenets have resurfaced at the centre of the composite New Age movement. Here the current age of syncretism will be examined through the interaction among recent holistic attitudes, controversial scientifi c approaches, such as string theory, and popular culture.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/75931
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