For a hundred and fifty years — from the days of Emerson, Whitman, and Thoreau to the soul-tripping of the '60s and '70s — America was a rich, proud hotbed of spiritual seeking.
Within mainstream Christian churches and outside them, the pursuit of spirituality beyond strict religious boundaries was as American as apple pie. Then came spiritual consumerism, New Age crystals, and a deep cultural backlash that mocked liberal seekers as a moral cancer, and ushered in America's great fundamentalist revival.
But the seekers are still out there — at yoga, at Kabbalah, at church.
Hear about American seekers and American spirituality in the fundamentalist age.
Leigh Eric Schmidt, Professor of Religion at Princeton University and author of "Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality from Emerson to Oprah."
This program aired on September 22, 2005.