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The American Soul RushEsalen and the Rise of Spiritual Privilege$
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Marion Goldman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814732878

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814732878.001.0001

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Gender at Esalen

Gender at Esalen

(p.120) 5 Gender at Esalen
The American Soul Rush

Marion Goldman

NYU Press

This chapter examines how two widely known narratives about Esalen's early years cemented men's centrality at the Institute. Men's narratives and their initial priorities created a space to explore new definitions of masculinity. Over the years, Esalen has remained a place where men can construct and interpret their manhood. Esalen's founders had emphasized their own concerns in the Institute's early agenda. However, Esalen indirectly contributed to the growth of feminist spirituality by opening up a range of choices that women could reinterpret in terms of their own priorities. Beginning in the mid-1970s, feminist spirituality addressed an expanding audience of women interested in reaching their full human potential, and, since that decade, more and more women have gained economic empowerment and other attributes associated with spiritual privilege.

Keywords:   manhood, masculinity, feminist spirituality, spiritual privilege

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