HOW ONE BOOK EDITOR INFLUENCED THE LANDSCAPE OF RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY IN
AMERICA THE WORLD
Once in a while a religious mystical experience is undeniable. Take the case of book editor Eugene Exman whose work was discovered by acclaimed religion scholar Stephen Prothero. With most compelling evidence in his latest book ‘God The Bestseller’ Prothero shares the journey of finding Exman’s book archive and the mystical experience that triggered some of America’s most influential ‘bestsellers’ including the ‘Big Book’ of Alcoholics Anonymous, ‘Stride Toward Freedom’ by MLK, among many more.
He looks up he sees a bright light he feels electricity coursing through his body, he feels himself lifted out of his body and he says he sees God and he therefore never will doubt God again. This becomes an incredibly important spiritual experience for him; it’s not happening in church, it’s happening with him out in front of a graveyard in his hometown.Stephen Prothero on Exman’s mystical experience
Scripture whether it’s Christian or otherwise is literally true, I’m skeptical of that idea
I’ve been a professor of American religion for a long time like for over 25 years and I had never heard of this guy (Exman) but I got a phone call from someone who lives five minutes from my house turned out to be his daughter and she wanted me to come over her house and look at his books
It’s called perennialism this idea that all the religions are the same like they’re only different in minor ways… and that whole book I wrote (previously) is against that but then I discovered this archive he’s the guy (Exman) who makes this idea famous like he just publishes all these books about how the world’s religions are essentially the same, he’s lived through World War I, he’s lived through World War II. He doesn’t want people to kill each other over religion and he’s really attracted to this idea
Why do people find different scriptures to have a ‘sacred connection’? What does that mean for humans?
He (Exman) talked to this Minister friend… and the guy said listen books can be a calling… books can be a mission… you have so much influence over readers and this is this is in the 20s… this is before TV this is before the Christian podcast… this is before the internet right? So books at the time were really really powerful.
Spirituality and Religion, are they really different from one another?
When mystical experiences turn into stories like those of David Koresh
The need for another book for today’s societal issues as the ‘Big Book’ was in the 1920’s for the problem of drunkenness
You can have a mystical experience but what does it do to you? Does it make you a better person? Does it make you fight against War? Does it make you work for justice? Mysticism isn’t just about this private information, it isn’t just about sitting around in Navel-gazing and just doing private spirituality; it should always take you out into the world, if it doesn’t you have to really question whether it was a genuine encounter with GodStephen Prothero
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