From Slogans to Mantras: Social Protest and Religious Conversion in the Late Vietnam War Era

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Syracuse University Press, Oct 1, 2001 - History - 268 pages
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Certainly, religious strains were evident through postwar popular culture from the 1950s Beat generation into the 1960s drug counterculture, but the explosion of nontraditional religions during the early 1970s was unprecedented. This phenomenon took place in the United States (and at the edges of American-influenced Canadian society) among young people who had been committed to bringing about what they called "the revolution" but were converting to a wide variety of Eastern and Western mystical and spiritual movements. Stephen Kent maintains that the failure of political activism led former radicals to become involved with groups such as the Hare Krishnas, Scientology, Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, the Jesus movement, and the Children of God. Drawing on scholarly literature, alternative press reportage, and personal narratives, Kent shows how numerous activists turned from psychedelia and political activism to guru worship and spiritual quest as a response to the failures of social protest and as a new means of achieving societal change.
 

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From slogans to mantras: social protest and religious conversion in the late Vietnam War era

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Books on countercultural religion in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s are just now being published. Here, Kent (sociology, Univ. of Alberta, Canada) analyzes the religious movements that took ... Read full review

From slogans to mantras: social protest and religious conversion in the late Vietnam War era

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Books on countercultural religion in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s are just now being published. Here, Kent (sociology, Univ. of Alberta, Canada) analyzes the religious movements that took ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction Defining a Generation
1
Religion Drugs and the Question of Political Engagement
6
Political Frustration and Religious Conversions
25
Radical Rhetoric and Eastern Religions
44
Conversions to Syncretic and Western Religions
94
Conclusion Mystical Antagonism and the Decline of Political Protest
151
Reexamining the Scholarship on Protesters Religious Conversions
191
References
203
Index
229
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About the author (2001)

Stephen A. Kent is professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada. He has published articles in numerous journals including Journal of Religious History and British Journal of Sociology.

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