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The MANY WAYS OF BEING. Paperback – 1976

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Product details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; 1st Abacus Edition edition (1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349100713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349100715
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 640,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DV Barrett on 27 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
This is one of the earliest popular books on new religious movements, and although of course it's now vastly out of date (it was published in 1976, and I don't think it was ever updated) it's still one of the best. Annett covers some of the well-established forms of alternative spirituality, including the Quakers, the Mormons and Christian Science, and he has a full chapter on Eastern movements (the Hare Krishna movements, the Divine Light Mission (now Elan Vital), Rajneesh (now Osho) and many more). But the subtitle of the book is "A Guide to Spiritual Groups and Growth Centres in Britain", and its main focus is on esoteric, New Age and personal development movements -- and here the breadth of his coverage, along with his non-judgemental approach, make this book a joy to read.

In his Introduction he writes that his book has two purposes: "to give a broad picture of the extraordinary ferment that makes up the non-establishment spiritual state of Britain; and to help people to make contact with groups that they might find sympathetic." There are 30 pages of addresses at the end of the book, though of course many of them are no longer valid. He goes on:

"I would not be so foolish as to suggest that I have been entirely objective in compiling 'The Many Ways of Being', but I have at least been as fair to all the groups as I am able. I have tried to restrict myself to facts without being colourless, and I apologise in advance to anyone who feels that my prejudices and feelings have succeeded in creeping into the text in any particular cases."

It's that sort of open and honest attitude that makes this book so worthwhile and still so readable.
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