Item #21245 Scientific Religion or Higher Possibilities of Life and Practice Through the Operation of Natural Forces . . . Authorized American Edition. Laurence Oliphant.

Scientific Religion or Higher Possibilities of Life and Practice Through the Operation of Natural Forces . . . Authorized American Edition.

Buffalo: Charles A. Wenborne, 1889. First American edition. 8vo (8.5 x 5.75 inches), original maroon cloth, gilt lettering, 473, [1] pages. Head and foot of the spine frayed; cloth a bit sunned and rubbed; a very good copy. Item #21245

The curious capstone work from the eccentric religious mystic Oliphant (1829-1888)--or as his wife, Rosamond Dale Owen Oliphant has it here in her preface, "a new revelation . . . bursting upon the Earth, and wherever men and women are found ready, the consciouness of 'Sympneumatic' Life will develop in an ever-increasing force and purity." Oliphant had fallen under the sway of Thomas Lake Harris's spiritualist-inflected communal mysticism (resiging from Parliament in 1867 to join the Brotherhood of New Life colony in Brockton, New York; he broke with Harris in the 1880s and retired to Mount Carmel outside of Haifa to develop his religion of sympneuma, which by the time this title was published in London in 1888, "professed to be the revelation of a new religion based on the power of 'pure' sexual love, and in it he assumed the mantle of a spiritual leader. It helped to bring about him a crowd of spiritualists and people easily swayed by pseudo-philosophical pronouncements. He visited America in 1888, and returned with Rosamond Dale Owen, daughter of Robert Dale Owen, to whom he was married at Malvern on 16 August" (DNB). Oliphant died of cancer in December 1888 and this authorized American edition was published Buffalo (about 50 miles up Lake Erie from Brocton) in early 1889. Evidence of removal of a small bookseller label from the front pastedown.

Price: $150.00

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