: The psychology of the foundations of the spiritual life; the mysterious motives which draw men towards, or alienate them from, religious leaders; the secret of the influence exercised by these latter upon mankind in the massóall these things are now and always of intense interest. [...] The ever-increasing numbers of strange and attractive places of worship which are springing up in all countries bear witness to manís invincible need to find shelter behind immediate certainties, even as their elaborate outer forms reflect the variety of his inward aspirations. [...] Such examples of human psychology, whether normal or morbid, as are here offered to the reader, may well recall to mind some of the strangest products of manís imagination. The tales of Hoffmann or of Edgar Allan Poe pale before these inner histories of the human soul, and the most moving novels and romances appear weak and artificial when compared to the eruptions of light and darkness which burst forth from the depths of manís subconsciousness. [...] These phenomena will interest the reader of reflective temperament no less than the lover of the sensational and the improbable in real life.
The focus is on late 19th and early 20th century Russia and USA, think not much has changed.
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