Essay upon the Influence of the Imagination on the Nervous System, Contributing to a False Hope in Religion. PSYCHOLOGY, Grant Powers.
Essay upon the Influence of the Imagination on the Nervous System, Contributing to a False Hope in Religion.

Essay upon the Influence of the Imagination on the Nervous System, Contributing to a False Hope in Religion.

Andover: Printed and Published by Flagg and Gould, 1828. First edition. Original unbleached linen spine and drab boards, printed paper spine label, 7.5 x 4.75 inches, 118 pages, untrimmed. Rubbed and soiled; fragile linen rubbed, exposing the printed binder’s waste; some light foxing; a good, sound copy. Item #19970

In anticipation of William James, a pioneer American work on religious psychology and charismatic evangelical practice, drawing in part on the physical manifestations of the Kentucky revivals: “But the apostasies in this connexion did not exceed nor equal those in Kentucky and Tennessee [from 1800 to 1803], who were thus agitated, who had visions, trances, and prophetic impulses. . . . M’Nemar admits that there was a great falling away, and indeed, in his opinion, all returned to the world and went into bondage, except the few, who advance on to Shakerism. . . . His views seem to be, that these phenomena were the result of God’s power falling on the subjects externally, thus indicating his desire to enter into their hearts by *shaking* them, but as they proved obstinate, all except those who adopted the *voluntary* shake, and became Shakers, the spirit deserted.” Powers also attacks animal magnetism and Mesmerism, noting that despite “the complete triumph of science and sound philosophy over all pretensions of Mesmer and his coadjutors in regard to magnetism, there was originated in America, by a Mr. Perkins, a cause of delusion, or precisely the same nature with the magnetism of Mesmer. And notwithstanding it arose into notice in less than eighteen years from the fall of Mesmer, this imposition prevailed in all the United States.” Powers, arguing against revivalism and for a conservative evangelical orthodoxy, also touches on the Salem Witch Trials, medieval saints’ cures, and Wesleyan Methodism. See for instance Bratt, James D. “Religious Anti-Revivalism in Antebellum America.” Journal of the Early Republic 24, no. 1 (2004): 65-106. See also Ogden, Emily. Credulity: a Cultural History of US Mesmerism. Chicago (Ill.): The University of Chicago Press, 2018: 53-55. American Imprints 34862. Early ink ownership signature on the front paste-down; pencil note on the rear paste-down, “Read July 1849.”.

Price: $350.00

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