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A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern Hardcover – 9 Mar 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (9 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801878128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801878121
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,904,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"An important addition to the growing historiography that affirms that terms like 'irrationalism' fall short of describing the complex of Nazi Culture during the 1930s and 40s."

(Times Literary Supplement)

"Treitel offers a social history of the German occult, panoramic in scope, which seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of a variety of occult organizations and their relationship to Wilhelmine society at large."


"Corinna Treitel's A Science for the Soul is perhaps the most daring and innovative study in modern German cultural history since David Blackbourn's Marpingen. Challenging entrenched myths about occultism's embeddedness in völkisch and anti-modern thought, Treitel shows that the occult sciences were, in fact, comfortably at home in the essentially liberal, consumerist Wilhelmine Empire and played an important role in Germans' adjustment to the modern world. This highly significant insight is supported by research that is both deep and wide-ranging, as the author moves from private séances to university laboratories, from the market for horoscopes to the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke."

(Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University)

"An original and substantial contribution to the field of modern German―and European―cultural and social history. Corinna Treitel's scholarship is sound, her sources extensive and appropriate, and her writing clear and concise."

(Geoffrey Cocks, Albion College)

"A sophisticated and compelling contribution to the intellectual history of modern Germany."

(Kevin Cramer Canadian Journal of History)

"Treitel does a wonderful job of demonstrating the breadth of Germans' interests in the occult and exposing the developing market for spiritualists and their work."

(H. Glenn Penny Central European History)

"Treitel's detailed exploration... provides a valuable contribution to the literature on modern occultism."

(B. J. Gibbons Historian)

"Treitel's book provides much valuable information."

(Leslie Price Journal of the Society for Psychical Research)

"There is much to be admired in this thoroughly researched work."

(Alexander C T Geppert Medical History)

"Skillfully researched, strongly argued, beautifully written, Treitel's book adds to our understanding of the spiritual as a vital presence in modern culture."

(Kevin Repp Journal of Modern History)

About the Author

Corinna Treitel is an assistant professor of history at Wellesley College.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 reviews
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on 5 June 2007 - Published on Amazon.com
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