Dave Vliegenthart’s Thesis on FMW

February 15, 2018  /  Leave a Comment  /  Trackback  /  Posted in News

Dave Vliegenthart, PhD (2017), University of Groningen, is a Lecturer at University College Maastricht in the Liberal Arts and Sciences at Maastricht University, specializing in the study of eastern-inspired western gurus and new religious movements in modern western culture. He has just published his Doctoral Thesis, The Secular Religion of Franklin Merrell-Wolff. He says, “BRILL just published my intellectual history of the secular religion of American mystic Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1887-1985) and similar modern western gurus of new religious movements, who combine methods and theories from eastern and western religion, philosophy, and psychology to rationalize their alleged flights beyond reason.”

It is described as follows: In The Secular Religion of Franklin Merrell-Wolff: An Intellectual History of Anti-intellectualism in Modern America, Dave Vliegenthart offers an account of the life and teachings of the modern American mystic Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1887–1985), who combined secular and religious sources from eastern and western traditions in order to elaborate and legitimate his metaphysical claim to the realization of a transcendental reality beyond reason.

Using Merrell-Wolff as a typical example of a modern western guru, Vliegenthart investigates the larger sociological and
historical context of the ongoing grand narrative that asserts a widespread anti-intellectualism in modern American culture,
exploring developments in religious, philosophical, and psychological discourses in North America from 1800 until the present.

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