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Born Again BodiesFlesh and Spirit in American Christianity$
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R. Marie Griffith

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520217539

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520217539.001.0001

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Sculptors of Our Own Exterior

Sculptors of Our Own Exterior

New Thought Physiques

(p.69) 2 Sculptors of Our Own Exterior
Born Again Bodies

R. Marie Griffith

University of California Press

This chapter examines the link between the mind and body using the perspectives of New Thought. According to New Thought writers, the body is not only the soul's mirror but, often enough, the elemental ground of spiritual progress and perfectibility. The roots of New Thought lay in the heady nineteenth-century world that mixed and matched mystical Swedenborgianism, mesmerism, spiritualism, holiness evangelicalism, and mind cure: a system which “attributed cures of physical illness to the mental or spiritual faculties.” Food has consistently remained an evil temptation in the literature of the past half-century. In earlier historical periods, latter-day religious diet reformers have promoted a variety of messages, some advocating fasting as a useful means of weight control and others urging against it; several advocating vegetarianism while opponents upheld the benefits of meat; recommending special vitamin supplements to fight toxins while the conservative proffered basic dietary variety mixed with exercise.

Keywords:   New Thought, effects of food, Swedenborgianism

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