Review of Cristina Rocha, John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing

Book Review

Cristina Rocha, John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. xiii + 269, ISBN: 978-0-19-046671-8 (Pbk).

In John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing, Cristina Rocha draws on more than a decade of fieldwork to provide the first enthnographic account of the global John of God movement. Based in Abadiânia, a small town in rural Brazil, John of God (born João Teixeira de Faria in 1942) has become an “international faith healer superstar” (3). He has been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, visited by many celebrities, and … Read more

Review of Ingvild Sælid Gilhus, Siv Éllen Kraft and James R. Lewis (eds), New Age in Norway

Book Review

Edited by Ingvild Sælid Gilhus, Siv Éllen Kraft and James R. Lewis. New Age in Norway. Sheffield, UK and Bristol, CT: Equinox, 2017, pp. xiv + 290, ISBN: 978-1-78179-417-3 (Pbk).

While New Age is a global phenomenon, it is also shaped by local influences. New Age in Norway is an examination of how the New Age milieu has been uniquely shaped by political, social and cultural factors specific to Norway. The book consists of an introduction, twelve chapters, and two additional afterwords. Each of the twelve central chapters discusses a specific area of New Age practices and … Read more

Review of Lee Irwin, Reincarnation in America

Book Review

Lee Irwin, Reincarnation in America: An Esoteric History. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017, pp. xxvi + 447, ISBN: 978-1-49855-407-7 (Hbk).

In the West, reincarnation may be most commonly associated with Asian religious traditions and thought of as a relatively minor or eccentric belief system. However, approximately 23% of Americans polled in the last 20 years believe in reincarnation as a viable post-mortem theory, and Reincarnation in America: An Esoteric History demonstrates that this belief has been informed by an incredibly diverse and complex array of cultural influences (xvi). In this ambitious book, Lee Irwin surveys the vast history … Read more

Review of Kenneth Rose, Yoga, Meditation and Mysticism: Contemplative Universals and Meditative Landmarks

Book Review

Kenneth Rose, Yoga, Meditation and Mysticism: Contemplative Universals and Meditative Landmarks. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2016, pp. xiii + 245, ISBN: 978-1-47257-168-7 (Hbk).

Is there a common reality or experience toward which the teachings of the various mystical traditions point? This is a question that has divided scholars of religion and one that Kenneth Rose attempts to answer in Yoga, Meditation and Mysticism.  This thought-provoking text examines the common contemplative experiences that arise from the meditation practices of three distinct religious traditions – Theravada Buddhism, Patanjala Yoga and Catholic mystical theology. Through a comparative … Read more