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FW: 3/26/2003 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    ... From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@chronicle.com] Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 5:00 AM To: Chronicle Daily Report Subject: 3/26/2003 Daily Report from
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 27, 2003
      -----Original Message-----
      From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 5:00 AM
      To: Chronicle Daily Report
      Subject: 3/26/2003 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education


      ACADEME TODAY: The Chronicle of Higher Education's
      Daily Report for subscribers
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      [snip]

      MAGAZINES & JOURNALS

      A glance at the winter issue of "Arion":
      Revisiting the religious vision of the 1960s

      For "a tantalizing moment" in 1960s America, a "new religious
      vision brought East and West together in a progressive cultural
      synthesis," and while its promise was never fulfilled, "the
      depth and authenticity of that spiritual shift need to be more
      widely acknowledged," writes Camille Paglia, a university
      professor of humanities and media studies at the University of
      the Arts.

      Alongside the many Marxist, and therefore atheist, political
      movements of the 1960s, she writes, she observed occultism drawn
      from Native American religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, and many
      other sources. Such religious experimentation continued a long
      American tradition, but "not since early 19th-century
      Romanticism had there been such a strange mix of revolutionary
      politics with ecstatic nature-worship and sex-charged
      self-transformation."

      She sketches many spirituality-infused movements of the 1960s
      and beyond: the Buddhist-inspired movements that advocated
      "cosmic consciousness"; the Hindu-influenced political theater
      of Allen Ginsberg; Transcendental Meditation; Alcoholics
      Anonymous; EST (Erhard Seminar Training); and rolfing. "Acid
      rock" that originated in the San Francisco hippie scene had a
      religious cast, she contends, as did drug-taking and sexual
      experimentation. Clearly, she adds, excess dissipated "the
      authentic spiritual discoveries made by the sixties generation."
      So, too, did crime, murder, and psychotic leadership associated
      with, for example, religious cults.

      But none of those shortcomings, she argues, would diminish the
      value of studying 1960s spirituality more closely. More
      generally, Ms. Paglia contends, "the core curriculum for global
      education should be comparative religion," because that would be
      a corrective to the failure of the arts and humanities to
      provide the kinds of perspectives that the religious and
      religiously infused cultural movements of the 1960s sought. In
      that way, she writes, "the religious impulse of the sixties must
      be rescued from the wreckage and redeemed."

      The article is available online at
      http://www.bu.edu/arion/paglia_cults00.htm
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