Magazine article The Christian Century

Sects of the '60S Devalue 'Scriptures'

Magazine article The Christian Century

Sects of the '60S Devalue 'Scriptures'

Article excerpt

A veteran San Francisco religion reporter whose new book looks at the legacy of the spiritual ideals of the 1960's (and 1970s) says that few of the "revelatory" writings from that era have fueled major movements dedicated to these new scriptures.

"The closest thing may be The Course in Miracles, but only then as interpreted by charismatic figures such as Marianne Willamson," said Don Lattin of the San Francisco Chronicle, whose book Following Our Bliss (HarperSanFrancisco) will be published in October. The 1,000-page Course in Miracles was set doyen between 1965 and 1973 by Helen Schueman of New York, who died in 1981.

While writings by founder Sun Myung Moon give his Unification Church a prophetic core and some books by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard provide texts for the Church of Scientology, many post-World War II movements that became prominent in the 1960s depended on personal relationships, alternative lifestyles and persuasive leaders to sustain growth, Lattin suggested in an interview.

"Sixties spirituality, from Pentecostalism to Buddhism to the New Age movement, stresses the experience of the individual believers, not the revelations of prophets," Lattin said. …

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